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Lack of alcohol kills 6 in Kiambu

Six people have died in Kiambu as a result of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Kiambu County Director of Clinical Services Jacob Toro said three people died while being treatment at a hospital in Ruiru. Three others died at hospitals in Kihara and Tigoni.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when an alcoholic suddenly stops drinking or significantly reduces alcohol intake.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo said the six dead were among 18 patients who were taken to hospitals since Wednesday.

“Work is in progress to save the lives of the people admitted in other hospitals,” he said in Thika after destroying illicit brews at the Kang’oki dumpsite.

County officials seized the brews manufactured by Vinepack Ltd in cartoons and crates at go-downs in Thika’s industrial area on Wednesday night.

ALCOHOL ADDICTS

Mr Kabogo said his administration would only issue licences to breweries that have been cleared by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Dr Toro said rehabilitation centres have been set up for alcohol addicts. He said people with acute withdrawal symptoms can ask for help using hotline number 0711264000.

The symptoms for alcohol withdrawal syndrome include shaking, sweating, delusions, confusion, aggressiveness, fever, fits and convulsions.

At the same time, a High Court judge on Thursday told law enforcers to avoid destroying property when conducting raids on illicit alcohol.

Justice Isaac Lenaola was hearing a case in which liquor manufacturers have sued the state as well as Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

The directive is a reprieve to the Association of Spirits Manufacturers, who pleaded with the judge to stop the blanket destruction of liquor.

RULE OF LAW

Justice Lenaola, however, asked the manufacturers to specify their business licences and ordered that National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) be enjoined in the case as well as Nairobi and Kiambu county governments.

“The operation against illicit liquor must be conducted within the rule of law,” ruled Justice Lenaola.

The judge dismissed the spirit manufacturers’ request to be accorded security to their business premises.

On Wednesday, Kenya Breweries Limited and UDV Kenya Limited sued Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, the Inspector General and the Kenya Bureau of Standards saying the target products have not been defined.

Justice George Odunga ordered an end to the destruction of licensed alcoholic brands belonging to Kenya Breweries Ltd and UDV.  The hearing is on July 23.