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Cabinet endorses fight against illegal brews, narcotic drugs

The Cabinet has endorsed measures the government has taken in the fight against illegal brews and narcotic drugs.

These measures, announced by the Interior ministry, include a 21-day suspension of all the 52 licences and permits issued to manufacturers and distillers of second generation alcohol, revocation of all bar licences issued by counties against the law and an audit of conflict of interest within the ranks of enforcement agencies.

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Other measures are nationwide crackdowns on the sale, transportation, distribution and consumption  of illicit brews and narcotic drugs.

The Cabinet resolved that any public officials who resist these measures against the fight against illicit brews and drugs will be violating Chapter Six of the Constitution and the laws on conflict of interest.

These include officials in the National Police Service, National Administration, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, public health and public prosecution, among others.

The Cabinet was informed that since the Interior ministry started implementing these measures, 2,393 non-compliant premises, 359 pharmacies and chemists and 452 agro-vets have been closed.

At a meeting chaired by President William Ruto at State House Nairobi on Wednesday, the Cabinet was informed that 5,835 raids on illicit and narcotic premises have been conducted, 289,390 litres of illicit brews and 13,198 litres of counterfeit alcohol have been netted.

Additionally, seven vessels for trafficking drugs, 3,603 rolls of bhang and 44 stones have been seized.

Noting the increased cases of addiction to alcohol and drugs, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Health to prepare a framework for rehabilitation wards in all Level 5 hospitals.

The ministry was also directed to closely work with county governments and ensure each county has a rehabilitation centre.

At the meeting, the ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Energy were directed to convene an inter-ministerial committee to deal with the invasion of the Prosophis Julifora tree commonly known as ‘Mathenge’.

The tree is a menace in 22 counties and has led to the loss of grazing and farming lands, biodiversity, wetlands and national parks.

The inter-ministerial team was tasked with exploring opportunities that can be derived from the Mathenge tree. These include commercial opportunities in renewable energy, wood products and modern ways of using charcoal that do not emit carbon.

The Cabinet was briefed on the generation of hydro power and the status of water dams. The meeting was informed that there is a substantial rise of water levels at Masinga Dam, the main storage of the Seven Forks.

Consequently, the prospects of generating cheaper hydro power are very high and thus cheaper prices for Kenyans.

The meeting was also briefed on the World Bank’s IDA 21 Replenishment Drive Summit  to be held in Nairobi on April 28-29, 2024.

The Cabinet was told that the meeting raises concessional financing for 72 countries, and that Kenya would be able to access financing for implementing the pillars of the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda.

The Cabinet also discussed the following:

  • Strengthening Safety in Short-Term Lease Facilities (AirBnBs)
  • Kenya Water Training and Research Institute Bill 2023
  • Building Resilient and Responsive Health System Project
  • MoU Between the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy and the Ministry of Investment of the United Arab Emirates
  • Criteria Used to Grant Host Country Agreements to Inter-Governmental Organisations and External Agencies
  • Hosting the Ninth Global International Energy Agency
  • Development of the East African Community Zones Regulation and the EPZ Scheme in Kenya
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