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City estate’s illicit brew drinking dens raided and closed

City Hall has closed down five wines and spirits outlets operating at Jerusalem Shopping Centre in Makadara Constituency for selling illicit and expired drinks.

This comes after residents complained of the sale of illegal and outdated drinks in the area after three middle-aged men died after consuming a suspected expired liquor in the area.

In a crackdown carried out by Nairobi County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board on Tuesday, the shops were also found out to be operating without liquor licenses while two out of the five outlets had been converted into mini-bars and were in a filthy state.

The other three wine and spirits shops housed in a 40 feet container along Buruburu Road are said to be owned by a city politician and have been operating for 24 hours.

The operation was led by the board chairman Mr Kennedy Odhiambo, area chief Nicholas Maingi and Embakasi West Liquor Committee chairman Paul Ochieng.

Mr Odhiambo pledged to extend the operation to other estates in Nairobi county saying that the board has declared total war on alcoholic outlets operating near learning institutions and residential areas.

ILLICIT BREWS

“We are going to close down all bars, wine and spirits operating near schools and in residential areas,” said Odhiambo.

On his part, chief Maingi claimed that teams from the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) and National Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) visited the area but failed to act on residents’ complaints.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has given a directive to the board not to compromise on any illicit liquor businesses especially bars near schools and residential areas.

The Board and ACA have in the recent past conducted campaigns to create consumer awareness in order to curb and regulate alcoholic drinks – a menace that continues to damage families and lives of young and productive youths across the country.

The forums brought together County enforcement officers, officials from the ACA, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, police, regional administers, the clergy and community elders.

Stakeholders came up with a raft of measures anchored on collaboration between the national and county government and the need to review laws and regulations to curb the runaway consumption of illicit brews.

The government estimates that more than 50,000 people have died due to alcohol and drugs abuse in the last one decade alone.