Court Rules Busaa Not Illegal

  • Ann Kayila in court at Kibra
    Ann Kayila at a court in Kibera
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  • Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Bhoke left ribs cracking in court on Thursday, January 28 after she ruled that Busaa was a traditional brew and not illegal.

    She spoke after Ann Kayila, a mother of three, was charged with selling and being in possession of five litres of the brew in Kibra.

    The prosecution also accused her of failing to comply with the standards outlined in the Alcoholic Drinks Act of 2010.

    The magistrate argued that Busaa is a traditional drink esteemed in Western Kenya and that her only crime was selling without a license.

    Men sharing a pot of Busaa in Western Kenya
    Men sharing a pot of Busaa in Western Kenya
    The Standard

    Ann, however, pleaded guilty to the charges and sought leniency. She explained to the court that she embarked on the busaa business to fend for her three children for lack of better opportunities.

    Bhoke fined Kayila Ksh 10,000 for the offence, a failure to which she would serve a three-month sentence.

    The liquor that was retrieved at her premises was surrendered to the state.

    The sale of illicit brew has seen many arraigned in court in Kenya. The government has cracked down on persons engaging in the business.

     A National Alcohol Control Committee was formed in 2020 to carry out regular audits on manufacturers of alcoholic drinks to ensure sustained compliance with quality standards and any other regulatory requirements.

    The team was also put in charge of conducting inspections of all premises manufacturing alcoholic drinks for purposes of ensuring compliance with relevant laws.

    It was also given mandate to approve package labels for all the registered alcoholic brands and eliminate substandard and counterfeit alcoholic drinks and products in the country

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addressing a security conference in Nairobi
    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addressing a security conference in Nairobi
    Kenyans.co.ke