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Only two liquor companies in Thika meet KEBS Standards.

An inter-agency operation conducted in Thika Town has revealed that only two liquor manufacturers have met the standards and requirements set by law to operate as liquor manufacturers.

Those found fit to carry on with the business Africa Spirits Ltd (ASL) and Vinepack Limited.

According to Samson Wamisa the head of the task force formed to crack down on illicit brews in the Central Region, said that the two companies have met the public health and Kebs standards, as well as paying KRA taxes for their operations.

His team comprises officials from NACADA, the public health department, KEBS, KRA and the provincial administration.

“It has come to our attention that some products in the market bear fake KRA stickers and others have passed their expiry dates by more than two years. This is risking the health of the consumers and that’s why we will wipe it out” said Wamisa.

“We had an opportunity of visiting three manufacturing plants and after inspecting their production process, we gave the two (Vineyard and ASL) a clean bill of health,” he continued.

Wamisa said that they would not relent in their crackdown of counterfeits and illegal brews until they ensured all products in the market conformed to regulations and standards.

Vinepack Ltd are the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages such as Nile Tot, Fiesta and Moonlight while ASL produce spirits like Vodka, Cane spirit, Brandy and Whiskey under the brand Furaha.

Vinepack’s Quality Standards Manager Stanley Njenga asked the authorities to step up the war on counterfeits as they were not only a threat to the industry but they also endangered the lives of Kenyans.

“Counterfeits are not only killing young investments, but also degrading the country’s economy because no revenue is earned from them,” he said.

He added that the company was also developing on its security features to make it very hard for unscrupulous businesspeople to illegally replicate their products.

“For instance, we have changed our bottle lids from aluminum caps to plastic guala caps. Other measures include the KRA excise stamp, standardisation mark and the company batch code,” he added.

The manufacturer warned that illicit liquor packaged as known brands had flooded Thika town, putting to risk, the health of the consumers.

In 2015, the government cracked down on illicit liquor, especially in Central Kenya, nabbing vendors and seizing products. The country was treated to bizarre images of leaders leading rowdy youths to destroy bars suspected to be stocking and serving ‘second-generation’ alcohol.

However, some of these factories have resurfaced.

Alcohol addiction has resulted in broken families and thousands of addicts rendered economically unproductive in the Central Kenya Region.

A week ago, Kiambu County Government enacted a bill who sole aim was to regulate alcohol manufacturing and consumption within the county.

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