Brewers demand release of report after crackdown

KENYA – Spirits manufacturers in Nakuru County whose firms were closed following the crackdown on illicit brews want a report on their operations released.

The traders said an inter-agency committee formed to carry out inspection of their premises should make the report public to enable the government give directions on their business.

Speaking during a press conference in Nakuru town, the Nakuru Traditional Spirits Association chairman Zakaria Chege said the report was supposed to be out within two weeks.

Chege said they had incurred heavy losses since their businesses were closed and had been forced to look for other ways to service bank loans.

“We are really suffering and the continued delay in releasing the findings has compounded the problem. We want the report released so that we can decide the way forward,” said Chege who operates the Naivasha based Vimoon Kenya Limited.

The traders said they invested heavily in acquiring distillery machines and raw materials after being fully licensed by the government. Chege said the traders are prepared to uphold the recommendation of the committee and maintain the standards set by the government.

“They came and took samples from our factories and promised to avail the results within two weeks but we are yet to get a response,” he added. Betty Wanjiru of Bet Pet investments said more than 400 employees have been idling at home as they await the findings of the probe team.

“Our employees call us everyday to find out when they will resume their duties but it is now over two months since the committee commenced investigations,” Wanjiru said.

The crackdown ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta led to the closure of establishments involved in the manufacture and sale of second generation brews in the county.

Most of the traders incurred losses running into millions of shillings after rowdy youths demolished property in their premises during the operation led by local Members of Parliament.

September 9, 2015; http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000175759/brewers-demand-release-of-report-after-crackdown

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