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Kenya's war on drink

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Smatta, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Joined: Nov 5, 2008
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    Parliament has put the alcohol industry under the boot of regulation through a sweeping law that seeks to tame alcohol abuse.

    The Bill passed by Parliament last week, if signed into law by President Kibaki, will radically change the manufacture, consumption, advertising, bar licensing, drinking hours to warning signs on beer bottles. It was sponsored by Naivasha MP John Mututho, and seeks to regulate every aspect of the alcohol business.

    The Bill will have far-reaching implications for the multi-billion shilling alcoholic beverage industry, right from the multinational manufacturers to the humble estate bar. Billboards promoting alcoholic drinks and media promotions and campaigns — in which consumers win prizes — will be outlawed.

    Consumers will not be allowed to buy alcohol in the supermarket or corner shop, popularly known as “wines and spirits” — they will have to go to the bar for that. The Bill, the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill passed by MPs last week, tries to protect thousands of Kenyans from the harmful effects of adulterated drinks such as “kumi kumi”.

    Youth in parts of the country are said to have become zombies from consuming such drinks. The proposed law legalises traditional drinks such as chang’aa, muratina, busaa and mnazi. However, it requires that the drinks be professionally brewed, distilled, packaged and sold at licensed places in bottles above 250ml.

    “The alcoholic drink previously known as chang’aa shall only be manufactured, packed, sold and distributed in glass bottles (of 250ml),” the Bill states. On advertising, the Bill prohibits the promotion of alcoholic drinks with the aim of increasing its consumption. It says it is illegal to promote “any alcoholic drinks in such a manner as to encourage more consumption of an alcoholic drink in order to win an award or prize”.

    This means that fancy adverts that glamorise alcoholic drinks, linkage to social success and therapeutic value will be no more. It also means that many promotions run by giant brewers like the East African Breweries “Tusker Milli na Marafiki” where people win beer and money, will no longer be legal for it will amount to “encouraging the consumption of alcohol.”

    EABL said the spirit of the Bill was good, but some of the clauses were off the mark. Keroche Industries chief executive Tabitha Karanja said it was wrong to impose restrictions on alcohol advertising. “It is the first time in the world I have heard that advertising of beer can be cancelled. The only thing I know is that advertising should not be near schools and not to restrict it,” she said.

    Instead, it requires brewers and retail outlets selling beer to declare the harmful effects of the drink. Beer makers will be required to boldly, on the beer stickers, carry warning messages such as “alcohol harms your unborn baby” or “alcohol consumption can impair fertility or cause impotence.”

    The Bill even prescribes the size of the warning, their colour and where they have to be displayed. “Every sign required to be posted be displayed on a surface measuring not less than 12 inches by 8 inches in size; bear the word “WARNING” in capital letters followed by the prescribed health warning which shall appear in conspicuous and legible type and shall be black on a white background or white on a black background and shall be enclosed by a rectangular border that is the same colour as the letters of the statement,” it says in part.

    “The warning labels give the impression that beer is bad yet when taken moderately, it is good. It is just like salt, if you take it in excess it is bad,” said EABL corporate affairs director Ken Kariuki. And bar owners will have to prominently display signs showing that alcohol cannot be sold to persons aged under 18 years.

    “The manager or owner of a place where an alcoholic drink is sold shall cause to be displayed therein, clear and prominent notices in English or Kiswahili stating that drinking of alcoholic drinks is prohibited for persons under the age of eighteen years and the prescribed penalty thereof,” it says in part.

    Supermarkets and other retail shops are banned from selling alcoholic drinks unless they can guarantee the government that those under 18 years will not access them. It also strikes on wines and spirit shops by introducing a turn-over tax to be administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

    It requires that anyone selling alcohol — even one bottle — should pay Value Added Tax (VAT) of 16 per cent and 2 per cent catering levy. The Bill outlaws sale of alcoholic drinks in sachets, setting a minimum package at 250ml. The Pubs and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) and the National Agency for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) have supported the Bill.

    Perak’s Sam Ikwaye said he had no problem with the proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising and marketing. If anything, he says, a lot of advertising in the past has been targeting the wrong market — the youth. “We also don’t want children to access alcohol,” he said.

    Amend clauses

    EABL has already been sponsoring the “We I.D.” campaign aimed at forcing young people in clubs to produce identity cards to prove that they are over 18. Mr Kariuki said they were seeking ways of amending some of the clauses before the Bill becomes law. “We are working together with the MP (Mr Mututho) to ensure that some changes are effected before it becomes law,” he said.

    Ms Karanja also warned that legalising local brews was likely to cause problems since it would not be easy to control their quality. She said quality drinks require a lot of money, which the brewers of the drinks do not have. “It will not be easy for Kenya Bureau of Standards to regulate the quality and this will bring a lot of problems,” she said.

    Daily Nation:*- News*|Kenya's war on drink
  2. n

    nomasana JF-Expert Member

    Jun 28, 2010
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    nini mbaya na hawa wadhii??? wakenya ni watu wakupewa maji nakuregulate kitu kama boose nikukatsia wakenya raha zao. kila mtu na raha zake na magovamental wanapaswa kusare wadhii wapewe. hii story ya regulation haija nijazz
  3. N

    Namtih58 JF-Expert Member

    Jun 28, 2010
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    Naona hapo nime highlight wamekosa, kwani label itakuwa ni kubwa hata kuliko chupa ya beer mkuu Smatta, ama ni "typo" kwa upande wa Daily Nation