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Kenya. The authorities closed 18,000 bars and alcohol stores within a month

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The Kenyan government has closed over 18,000 bars and shops selling alcohol as part of the fight against alcoholism, which began on March 6, reports the KNA news agency.

According to the opinions and actions of the authorities, Kenya has a serious problem with alcohol. So serious that, according to a 2022 report by the National Authority Against the Abuse of Drugs and Alcohol (NACADA), 635,000 people died in just one central county, Nyeri. people were addicted to alcohol or drugs. The entire county has a population of 700,000. inhabitants.

That is why last year the alcoholism control act in force since 2010 was tightened. Now it allows us not only to fight against drinking, but also against counterfeiting and the sale of illegally produced alcohol.

The penalties are severe. Any beer producer caught distributing counterfeit drinks may pay a fine of up to 10 million shillings, or approximately PLN 8,000. dollars or serve a prison sentence of up to 10 years or receive both penalties simultaneously.

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Strict penalties for the promotion and advertising of alcohol

Citing the new regulations, the authorities of Karatina, a town in Nyeri County, completely banned the sale of alcohol at the beginning of April. So they went further than Vice President Rigathi Gachaguy, who at the beginning of the year proposed that there should be only one alcohol bar in each city.

The new law did not take into account these suggestions, but prohibits any form of promotion or advertising of alcoholic beverages and provides for a fine of up to PLN 500,000. shillings (about $4,000) for the perpetrator or imprisonment not exceeding three years.

It also limits the time of sale of alcohol, stating that “the licensee may not sell any alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises earlier than 2 p.m. and no later than 8:30 p.m.”

People are losing their jobs

The closure of bars and shops in a country that has just boasted that the number of tourists has broken records recorded before the coronavirus pandemic did not please their owners. Ronald Manywele, who not only runs the bar but is also the chairman of the Lodwar County Drivers and Transporters Association, which relies mainly on tourists, has asked the regional commissioner to consider reopening the closed points.

“We are asking you as commissioner to consider the difficult situation of our fellow entrepreneurs and workers who have no other source of income. Many bar workers have lost their jobs and are at risk of being evicted from their homes due to lack of rent,” Manywele said, quoted on Friday by KNA.

In response, he heard: “I made secret visits to the Lodwar district hospital and did not find anyone admitted due to not consuming alcohol.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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