KENYA – Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary, Prof Kithure Kindiki, has issued a stern warning to 24 alcohol manufacturers, including prominent industry players like Keroche Breweries and London Distillers, threatening to revoke their licenses if they fail to comply with government guidelines within 21 days. 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki, in a statement on Friday, announced that only three out of 29 manufacturers and distillers of second-generation alcohol have been allowed to resume production.  

KWAL, Savanna Brands Company Limited, and Patiala Distillers Kenya Limited are the only entities permitted to operate, having met the specific requirements outlined by the authorities. 

For KWAL, Prof Kindiki stated, “Verification and approval of the model of the transmitter for offloading and dispatch flowmeters was approved.”  

Meanwhile, Savanna Brands Company Limited fulfilled vetting agencies’ certification and payment of the standards levy. 

Kenya Nut Company Limited and UDV were also among those successfully who passed the vetting process. 

Prof Kindiki emphasized that 24 firms risk having their licenses cancelled if they do not comply with the listed guidelines within the stipulated 21-day period. 

Entities at risk of losing their licenses include Keroche, Two Cousins Distillers Limited, London Distillers Kenya Limited, and others listed in the statement. 

The Cabinet Secretary’s statement follows concerns raised by the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) regarding the government’s silence after the 21-day vetting period elapsed. 

Perak’s National Chairperson, Michael Kiragu Muthami, expressed concern over the lack of communication from the government regarding the outcome of the vetting process. He highlighted the significant financial losses incurred by businesses due to the continued closure. 

Furthermore, the association accused law enforcement officers of harassment, alleging deviation from government directives in the process.  

“They have taken advantage of the confusion to constantly harass our members in the guise that they are implementing a government directive to close all outlets selling alcoholic products,” PERAK stated. 

They challenged the Council of Governors (CoG) to defend its licensing role amidst plans for national government intervention. 

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s statement about the national government taking over the licensing function raised concerns within the association. The association emphasized the importance of county government in managing alcohol regulations, citing differing circumstances across counties. 

The ultimatum underscores the government’s commitment to enforcing regulations in the alcohol industry, aiming to streamline operations and ensure compliance with set guidelines. 

The outcome of the 21-day period will have significant implications for the affected manufacturers and the broader alcohol industry in Kenya. 

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