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Crackdown on illicit brews leaves 50 000 jobless

10 July 2015, 14:02 Joseph Njung'eh

Nairobi - More than 50 000 people in Central Kenya have been rendered jobless following the ongoing crackdown on illicit brews.

According to National Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (NABAK) Mount Kenya chapter, the crackdown was marred with challenges as legalized and healthy brews were destroyed and bars closed.

“More than 50 000 people employed by distributors, transporters, bars, wines and spirits shops have been rendered jobless. Many of these people are breadwinners in their families,” said a beer distributor from Kiambu County, Dominic Waithuki.

Speaking Friday at Green Hills hotel in Nyeri town, Waithuki said the businessmen have incurred losses of close to KES 100 million.

“The directive to raid beer dens came from the government. We are encouraging the same government to compensate legitimate alcohol beverage businesses whose property was destroyed. If no compensation, we shall move to court and sue the government,” said Waithuki.

Read Also: KES 10 million alcohol plant destoyed at Salgaa

“Criminal gangs hijacked the crackdown process and went on rampage, causing losses and endangerment of life and livelihoods, destroying property and legitimate products that have resulted in significant revenue losses to legitimate businesses and government,” he noted.

He further stated that NABAK is in support of the directive to stamp out illicit alcohol in Kenya.

“However, we strongly condemn the way in which it has been implemented. The real losers are legitimate alcohol beverage businesses, communities in Central Kenya and the government,” he added.

East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) Nyeri County distributor, Richard Mwangi Wamuti asked law enforcement officers to end harassment and intimidation of legitimate business owners.

“We note with concern that none of the products that were destroyed, on our trucks or in our premises, is listed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) among the suspended products,” lamented Wamuti.

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