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CS Kindiki orders immediate closure of bars & clubs operating in these areas

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has announced 6 radical measures to curb the abuse of alcohol and drugs

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki addressing the media on February 27, 2024

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced that President William Ruto's government has identified the rampant trade, consumption, and abuse of illicit alcohol, narcotics, drugs, and psychotropic substances as one of the top five threats to the country's security.

This pronouncement made on March 6, signals a shift in policy focus towards combating this pervasive issue, which now ranks alongside terrorism, banditry, extremism, and climate change as significant security threats.

In response to this grave challenge, the Ministry of Interior has initiated a comprehensive national security strategy aimed at tackling the scourge of illicit substances head-on.

Interior CS Kindiki has issued a series of directives aimed at curbing the trade and consumption of these substances, with immediate effect.

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One of the most directives issued by CS Kindiki is the immediate closure of bars and clubs located within residential areas and schools.

This decisive action aims to stem the availability and accessibility of illicit substances in areas where they pose a direct threat to community well-being, particularly among vulnerable populations such as youth and students.

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Furthermore, all licenses and certification permits for second-generation alcohol and alcoholic beverage distillers and manufacturers, issued by relevant authorities such as the Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards, have been suspended with immediate effect.

This suspension is accompanied by a stringent vetting process, with existing valid licenses subject to reevaluation within a strict timeframe of twenty-one days.

In a bid to ensure the integrity and safety of alcoholic products, manufacturers are now required to establish Quality Control (QC) laboratories equipped with Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detector (FID).

These laboratories must be operated by competent analysts tasked with testing raw materials and finished products before they are released to the market.

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Additionally, manufacturers are mandated to establish and document all traders in their distribution chain to facilitate full traceability of alcoholic products from factory to consumer.

To prevent the diversion and misuse of industrial ethanol in alcohol manufacture, the Kenya Bureau of Standards has been tasked with ensuring that all industrial ethanol is denatured or marked with a denaturing agent within forty-five days.

CS Kindiki reiterated the government's commitment to strict enforcement and accountability in combating the illicit alcohol and drug trade.

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County Security Teams have been empowered to shut down and seize premises operating contrary to the provisions of relevant laws, with stringent penalties for offenders, including fines, imprisonment, and license withdrawals.

Furthermore, public officers found to be complicit in aiding, concealing, or colluding with offenders will face severe consequences, including legal action and disciplinary measures.

In a move to address emerging trends in substance abuse, CS Kindiki has outlawed the importation, manufacture, sale, use, advertisement, promotion, or distribution of shisha in the country.

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County Security Teams have been directed to enforce this prohibition rigorously, with any establishment found in breach facing immediate closure.

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