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No more alcohol for 21-year-olds in Kiambu

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has signed into law the Kiambu Alcoholic Drinks and Control Bill, 2017 that bans residents below 21 years from being sold or served alcoholic drinks.

Waititu said the law, which has been opposed by bar owners and some alcohol manufacturers, will be implemented immediately. Speaking at the county headquarters after signing the bill, the governor said implementing the new law will be an uphill task, adding that he is aware the Act will be contested in courts of law.

He urged residents to support him in the implementation process. He was flanked by the County Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu and Leader of Majority Anthony Ikonya. He said the law was aimed at protecting the youth against consumption of illicit and second generation brews.

“We want to change our county into a working region and not a drinking county and we will, therefore, implement the law to the letter,” he said. The Act stipulates that alcohol won’t be sold to anyone under the age of 21 and also provides for locals to dictate how many bars should be licensed in respective areas.

The governor said he will be fully in charge of licensing, adding that chiefs and the police would not take part in implementation of the law. “Everybody knows that chiefs and the police have failed to fight the consumption of the killer brews because of corruption and, therefore, we do not want them to take part in the implementation of the alcoholic drinks law,” he said.

His remarks, however, were faulted by the county commissioner Wilson Wanyanga, who said the process called for concerted efforts. “We as the National government administration have a major role to play and we are ready to work with the county government,” he said.

Former Nacada chairman John Mututho, who has been appointed by the governor as an advisor in the implementation of the alcoholic drinks law, said consumption of illicit brews and substance abuse will be a thing of the past in the next one month. Also signed into law the merger of all water companies in the county.

Consequently, the county will now have one water management company named Kiambu Water and Sewerage System. Former water companies at sub-county levels will henceforth be regional offices.

Residents and management boards of the defunct water companies had opposed the move, saying it would affect service delivery and that they were not consulted in the plan. They had alleged that the merger was eyeing huge profits made by some of the companies.

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