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Omutatah sues Kiambu over Alcoholic law.

Activist Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to challenge the controversial Kiambu County’s Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.

Omtatah wants the law declared unconstitutional, arguing that the regulation of alcoholic drinks is the mandate of the national government through the Kenya Bureau of Standards, National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency.

He says that county governments “have very limited role” on liquor licensing and control and should restrict themselves to issuing bar licences.

The activist is also seeking the suspension of section 69 of the Act pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“It is of utmost importance that the impugned Section 69 of the Act is suspended to protect the interests of the public, and to protect these proceedings from being rendered nugatory,” he said.

The section stipulates that permits of bar operators will be automatically cancelled if they fail to comply with the Act within 30 days.

The act that was approved by Governor Ferdinand Waititu is set to come into effect this Sunday.
 Waititu approved the bill last month as a way of abating alcoholism and the sale of unlicensed alcohol.

However, there was backlash from bar owners when Governor Waititu instructed them to apply for fresh permits.

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