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Uhuru signs alcohol act, others into law

15 May 2015, 18:26 PSCU

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law three Bills dealing with alcohol, domestic violence and public service Values.

The President signed into law the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Act 2015, which introduces a remission of excise duty at 90 percent for beer made from sorghum, millet and cassava. 

The two other laws are Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, 2015 and the Public Service (Values and Principles) Act, 2015. The Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Act, 2015, amends the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010, to also recognise alcoholism as disease. The Act says that in conducting education and awareness programs, relevant agencies and the Government shall “recognise alcoholism as a disease and the alcohol use disorders as defined by World Health Organisation shall be recognised disorders in Kenya”.

The Act grants remission of excise duty at 90 percent with respect to beer made from sorghum, millet or cassava grown in Kenya if the licensed manufacturer manufactures beer that has at least 75 percent content of sorghum, millet and cassava. For this provision to apply, the manufacturer must pack the beer in pasteurised containers of at least thirty litres or such other container and quantity as the Cabinet Secretary responsible for finance may approve. The Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, 2015, provides for the protection and relief of victims of the vice. 

The main objective of the Act is the protection of spouse, children and dependent persons. The Act defines as violence, abuse that includes child marriage, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, forced wife inheritance, interference from in-laws, sexual violence within marriage, virginity testing and widow cleansing. Violence under this Act also includes damage to property, defilement, economic abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, harassment, incest, intimidation, physical abuse, stalking, verbal abuse or any other conduct against a person that harms or may cause imminent harm to the safety, health, or the well-being of the person.

In the case of children, the Act states, a person psychologically abuses a child if that person causes the child to see or hear the abuse of a person with whom the child has a domestic relationship. The objective of the Public Service Values and Principles Act, 2015, is to lay down a general code on the values and principles of public service.

Among other things, the Act deals with the standards of professional ethics applicable to public officers, including honesty, integrity, transparency and the rule of law. The new law requires a public officer to use public resources in an efficient, effective and economic manner, failing which disciplinary action will be taken against him or her. 

The Act requires a public officer to be responsive, prompt, effective, impartial and respectful in the provision of services to the public. Public officers will from now on be prohibited from giving or providing any information that he or she knows or ought to know to be inaccurate. Further, the Act deals with the appointment and promotion of public officers based on fair competition and merit.

It also provides for exemption to the general rule on appointment and promotion in cases where representation and promotion is biased against a community, a gender group and people with disabilities. The Bills were presented for the President's signature by the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and the Clerk of the National Assembly Justin Bundi. 

The Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, Attorney General Githu Muigai and Solicitor-General Njee Muturi were also at the function.

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- News24


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