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Government seeks return of cheap beer to ward off illicit brews

The DP said talks are ongoing with a leading alcoholic beverages manufacturer over production of the low-priced beverage.

The government is working on a model of reintroducing low-priced but healthy and affordable alcoholic drinks as one of the ways of eradicating illicit brew on the market.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that under the model, the government will also address taxation, which impedes the production of cheaper but healthy brands.

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Mr Gachagua spoke on Monday in light of the ongoing government crackdown on illicit liquor manufacturers and sellers. He said talks are ongoing with a leading alcoholic beverages manufacturer over production of the low-priced beverage.

“We have asked the manufacturer to start a cheap, healthy and affordable alcoholic drink. We will address the taxation issue. The main problem is the portable spirits, whose alcohol level is extremely high and toxic- which have ruined families. As a government we have a responsibility to eradicate the illicit brews,” said the DP.

Speaking in an interview at vernacular stations Kameme TV and Kameme FM on Monday, Mr Gachagua explained that the ongoing fight is targeting manufacturers and sellers of the illicit and illegal brews.

The Deputy President highlighted the government’s achievements and the ongoing efforts to turn around the economy.

“Legit businesses will not be affected by the crackdown. Bar owners must unite and work with the government to eradicate the rogue traders and manufacturers producing the killer drinks. Instead of rushing to court to fight the crackdown, the bar owners should establish an organization to eradicate the rogue traders amongst them,” he said.

He added: “Bar owners must stop claiming that the government is fighting their businesses. They should assist the government in eradicating illicit drinks as they have also destroyed their businesses. We are not fighting legitimate businesses because the Ruto Administration supports genuine enterprises,” he stated.

He said the Government will not allow unscrupulous traders to kill people.

“Greed and overnight chase for accumulation of wealth led us into this menace. Let us be reasonable and responsible towards wealth creation. We will do whatever we can to win the war. The illicit brews have ruined families and killed young people,” he said.

He also urged governors to open rehabilitation wards in Level Four hospitals to treat addicts of alcoholism.

On the political situation in the country, the Deputy President said he supports the report of the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report and its recommendations.

“The report is good. Initially, I had discomfort with it but after being convinced by President William Ruto I support it. The recommendations such as reconstitution of the electoral commission, return of the official leader of the opposition and entrenching the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary in the Constitution are good for the country,” he said.

On the principle of ‘one man, one vote, and one shilling’, the Deputy President said the issue will be addressed even if it is not in the NADCO report.

“The ‘one man, one vote, and one shilling’ formula of sharing resources will be addressed even if it is not in the NADCO report. The formula is for fair distribution of resources based on numerical strength. In the national government we have good representation,” he said.

Regarding the forthcoming delimitation of boundaries, Mr Gachagua assured Mt Kenya residents that no constituency will be scrapped overpopulation quota. Instead, he said Mt Kenya deserves additional constituencies.

He cited areas like Kiharu and Kieni deserve sub-division because they are vast while others like Ruiru and Thika deserve sub-division because they are highly populated.

On the agriculture sector, the Deputy President said the reforms in the coffee, tea, macadamia and avocado sub-sectors were bearing fruit.

Farmers’ earnings have increased since the Ruto Administration came to power, he said.

“Coffee farmers through their cooperatives can now access direct sales,” said the Deputy President.

He added that the government is also turning focus on the revival of the pyrethrum subsector.

 

 

 

 

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