Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr. Fred Matiang’i says he did not order the closure of bars within Kiambu County when he launched a nationwide campaign against illicit brews.
A statement from the ministry Thursday says that at no time during his public address at Makwa Trading Center in Kiambu, did the CS order closure of bars in Kiambu County or any other part of the country.
According to the Ministry’s Communication Director Mwenda Njoka, all the CS did was to ask inter-agency authorities involved in licensing of bars and other establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to carry out thorough vetting of closed establishments to ensure that only those that meet the requisite legal conditions are allowed to re-open.
“Whereas the government is resolute and unyielding in its fight against illicit and counterfeit brews to protect the lives of Kenyans, the government is also committed to protecting all legitimate business enterprises in all sectors and in every corner of the country,” he stated.
He stated that Matiang’i was very categorical that legitimate establishments operating within the confines of the law governing manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have nothing to worry about.
“The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act (2010) clearly defines under what circumstances manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages should take (or not take) place,” he said.
“In his address, CS Matiang’i was very categorical that legitimate establishments operating within the confines of the law governing manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages have nothing to worry about because the campaign targets illegal operators and purveyors of counterfeit products.” He added.
New anti-counterfeit closures
Elsewhere, Africa Spirits Limited (ASL) has announced a Sh200 million new investment in non-refillable closures for its leading brand, Legend Brandy.
The company which introduced the technology on its products in 2015 says it is investing the money in redesigning Legend Brandy’s caps with the latest technology as part of its continuous innovation strategy.
“For us to be ahead of the curve we have to continually improve the technology we are using every year. We are demonstrating our commitment to the safety of our consumers,” said ASL’s Head of Marketing Nyawira Kariuki.
“Our new cap comes with a colorful twist,” said Ms. Nyawira, adding that the company is also adopting new technologies and tapping into global trends for the benefit of our consumers.
Globally, alcoholic spirit manufacturers are increasingly adopting the use of non-refillable closures with distinct identification features as part of quality control. ASL was the first local company to adopt the technology in Kenya in 2015. The packaging technology ensures that the bottle cannot be refilled after sale.
“Through innovation, we are creating appropriate and effective anti-counterfeiting strategies to distinguish our products in the market,” Ms. Nyawira noted.
Africa Spirits Limited has also rolled out the cap closure technology across all its other brands such as the Bluemoon Vodka range, Furaha Brandy, Furaha Vodka and Gypsy King among others.
ASL plans to use the same opportunity to further share responsible drinking messaging even as it continues to partner with government agencies to help eradicate the trade in illicit liquor.