News of a Thika-based alcohol manufacturing plant, African spirits, being found in possession of ethanol of questionable quality and suspected fake Kenya Revenue Authority stamps is a very disturbing consumer issue.
While we are grateful both KRA and KEBS have since acted, there is need to shut down such distilleries and ensure total compliance before they are re-opened.
Most important, we expect the Chief Public Health Officer at the Ministry of Health Dr Kepha Ombacho to move with speed to have all poor quality spirits and other drinks from Africa Spirits confiscated, owners charged and consumers whose lives have been endangered to be compensated.
The recent by the Flying Squad, KRA and the DCI is laudable but it is not a sustainable way of enforcement. The crooks will simply change locations and continue evading quality and tax issues.
It is important that consumers know that African Spirits are the producers of Bluemoon vodka, Legend brandy, Glenrock whiskey, Furaha gin, and Furaha Vodka, among others drinks. These drinks are consumed all over the country. It is important that consumers exercise extreme discretion. Our advice is that unless they can authenticate, that is good enough. Unfortunately, even the "Soma Label" app is not fullproof.
That over hundreds of tanks of ethanol were found stored in a container while other tanks were packed in trucks loaded with maize and oats at the plant raises credible quality issues on their drinks.
It is an open secret that Africa Spirits could be mixing its products manually and packing them without subjecting them to the required safety checks. On this, KEBS comes into sharp focus considering that the drinks hold the KEBS mark of quality.
That the ethanol of questionable quality came from Tanzania raises further questions on the officers at the Namanga Border Control. On this, we urge Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Mating'i to act
That it took Flying Squad's boss Musa Yego to confirm that Africa Spirits are producing substandard spirit and brews "not fit for human consumption" raises embarrassing questions on the men and women at Kenya Bureau of Standards.
We would like the affected three suspects arrested during the raid to be produced in Court together with the company owners.
We are putting various arms of government charged with ensuring that wines and spirits consumers are spared poor quality drinks. We are actively following the Africa Spirits case and may soon bring up litigation against several government departments and the Africa Spirits
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