Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has assembled a team that is going to oversee a crackdown on the alcoholic beverages industry.
In a gazette notice published on Friday, November 27, Matiang’i stated that the newly created National Alcohol Control Committee will be chaired by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, and will include AG Paul Kihara, DCI George Kinoti and DPP Noodin Haji.
Other members of the committee include Health PS Susan Mochache, Youth Affairs PS Julius Korir, KEBS MD Bernard Njiraini, KRA Director General James Mburu among other government officials.
According to the terms of reference, the team shall carry out regular audits on manufacturers of alcoholic drinks to ensure sustained compliance with quality standards and any other regulatory requirements.
The committee shall conduct joint inspections of all premises manufacturing alcoholic drinks for purposes of ensuring compliance with relevant laws.
The team shall be in charge of approving package labels for all the registered alcoholic brands and eliminate substandard and counterfeit alcoholic drinks and products in the country.
They will also be tasked with recommending the formulation of standards, policies, laws and regulations on alcohol control for adoption at the national and county levels.
The new team replaces the Inter-Agency Taskforce for Control of Potable Spirit and Combat of Illicit Brews which has since been disbanded.
In August, KRA heightened market surveillance and a crackdown on fake and counterfeit alcoholic products which were putting public health at risk, undercutting genuine players and denying the taxman revenues.
In June, KRA in collaboration with DCI detectives impounded illicit liquor worth Ksh4 million in Nakuru.
KRA is currently involved in a court battle against two major alcoholic beverages manufacturers over tax disputes running into billions of shillings.