By JOSEPH MUCHIRI
Court orders preventing police from arresting and charging those flouting Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010 are hampering efforts to rid the country of illicit liquor.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Eastern PC Clare Omolo observed the court restrictions were making it difficult to fight illicit brew menace.?
“There is a case in court touching on selling of alcohol in plastic bottles, awaiting determination. One cannot easily arrest and charge offenders before the final ruling is made,” said Omolo.
Omolo said this after chairing Eastern Provincial Security Committee that discussed how alcohol in plastic bottles laced with poisonous substances ended up in Muraru town in Mbeere South District.
Eight people died after consuming the liquor, while similar number lost their eyesight.?
Omolo noted the lethal brew bore the diamond mark of quality, usually issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. She pointed out that while the mark could be fake, it would be hard for the police to tell, since inspectors who scrutinise it, do not accompany them.?
The PC raised concerns that some bars licensed to sell genuine alcohol could also be selling illicit liquor, which the common mwanachi in the rural areas would not easily tell.?
Eastern PPO Marcus Ochola urged inspectors from the poisons board to work hand in hand with the police since they are in a position to know the brands that have detrimental effects on consumers.?
Omolo backed the police boss, adding that all stakeholders both within and outside government should come together if the fight against such brews is to be won.?
The administrator condoled bereaved families, saying the country was saddened by their death.?
She pointed out that the manufacturer of the lethal brew had gone underground after the deaths, and the provincial security team had sent specimens to the Government chemist for analysis.?