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CS Matiang’i denies ordering closure of bars in Kiambu.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i flanked by Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and other leaders from the county during a visit to fight illicit brew at Makwa village in Gatundu North Constituency on Tuesday. 

Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr. Fred Matiang’i has denied ever ordering the closure of bars within Kiambu County when he launched a nationwide campaign against illicit brews.

A statement from the ministry today said that at no time during his public address at Makwa Trading Center in Kiambu, did the CS order closure of bars in Kiambu County or any other part of the country.

According to the Ministry’s Communication Director Mwenda Njoka, all the CS did was to ask inter-agency authorities involved in licensing of bars and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to carry out thorough vetting of closed establishments to ensure that only those that meet the requisite legal conditions are allowed to re-open.

“Whereas the government is resolute and unyielding in its fight against illicit and counterfeit brews to protect the lives of Kenyans, the government is also committed to protecting all legitimate business enterprises in all sectors and in every corner of the country,” he stated.

He stated that Matiang’i was very categorical that legitimate establishments operating within the 
confines of the law governing manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have nothing to worry about.

“The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010) clearly defines under what circumstances manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages should take (or not take) place,” he said.

“In his address, CS Matiang’i was very categorical that legitimate establishments operating within the confines of the law governing manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have nothing to worry about because the campaign targets illegal operators and purveyors of counterfeit products,” he added.

Matiang’i was reported by a section of the press to have ordered all bars in the county closed as the war on illicit brew went a notch higher.

Matiang’i is said to have viewed the move will help in boosting the ongoing government crackdown of illicit brew and second generation alcohol.

The CS said Kiambu was one of the counties with the highest level of alcoholism in the country adding the high number of bars and clubs in the area was a clear testament to the menace.

“It is very sad to note that we have more bars and clubs in the county that both primary and secondary schools combined. Currently, the county has 777 primary and 369 secondary schools while it has 3062 bars and clubs. This is unacceptable and must be checked,” said Dr. Matiang’i.

Matiang’i said the government will also take stern action in other 17 counties which he did not name where there were serious concerns of rampant illicit alcohol consumption.

He said bar owners who will feel aggrieved by the directive should go to court and seek redress there adding the government will not relent in the fight against alcoholism.

“Those demonstrating against the government move should go to court if they feel aggrieved and we will meet there,” he said.

He said there was no turning back in the fight as far as the fight against illicit brew and second generation alcohol in the country was concerned.

“We cannot continue to lose innocent lives in the name of illicit alcohol. It is the high time we became innocent to ourselves that it is killing our people. We have to sort out this problem once and for all,” said the CS.

Matiang’i also warned provincial administrators and the police who will be found working in cohorts with illicit liquor brewers and sellers that their time was up. They said those who will be caught will no longer be suspended but sacked and dismissed from government.

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