The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 in Kenya has experienced some hurdles in terms of implementation. NACADA the body given the mandate to implement this Act has been experiencing enforcement and implementation problems because the police are poorly paid and thus easy to bribe.
Therefore some bars have been open for business as usual knowing that if approached by police, all they have to do is fork out a few shillings. Mututho, the brainchild of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 has come up with an amendment to this act.
The Alcoholic Drinks Control (amendment) Bill 2012 seeks to introduce new regulations in order to make the 2010 Act more implementable and to harmonize it with the new Constitution of Kenya. E.g. change from districts to counties. This amendment was tabled in the Kenyan Parliament.
Highlights of the proposed amendments are as follows:
1. Clause 17 seeks to amend section 13 of the Act so as prohibit the issuance of licenses to officers of the Kenya Police Service and any other authorized officers. This is probably because the police officers do own bars and do not enforce the law when a bar is breaking the law and owned by one of them and this hinders effective enforcement of the law.
2. Section 24 of No 4 of 2004 which it is proposed to amend— Access by persons under age of eighteen.
(A) No person holding a license to manufacture, store or con Section 34 of the principal Act is amended by renumbering the existing provision as subsection (1) and inserting new subsections (2) and (3) as follows—
(B) Unless if the license issued under this Act permits, no person shall—
(a) sell, an alcoholic drink in any workplace, office, factory, public park or any public recreational facility, public transport vehicle, public beach, sports stadium or public street;
(b) Sell an alcoholic drink during the period of two days prior to the date of any general election or in an area subject to a by-election as provided for under the Constitution;
(c) Sell, purchase or consume an alcoholic drink in an alcoholic drink selling outlet after the expiry of the hours for which the outlet is licensed to sell the alcoholic drink. Some alcoholic drinks under this Act shall allow a person under the age of eighteen years to enter or gain access to the area in which the alcoholic drink is manufactured, stored or consumed.
Most of the violence that occurred after the 2007 elections was fueled by alcohol intoxicated, out of work youth who were being given money for alcohol by politicians. I hope this will change on March 4, 2013. There is a lot of commentary found in the form of articles and comments regarding this amendment:
3. Section 45 of No 4 of 2004 which it is proposed to amend— Promotion by advertisement.
Subject to this Part, no person shall promote an alcoholic drink so as to create a false impression that—
(A) a link exists between consumption of that drink and social or sexual success;
(B) consumption of that drink is acceptable before or while engaging in driving, operating machinery, sports or other activities that require concentration in order to be carried out safely;
(C) that the alcoholic drink has a therapeutic value or that it has the ability to prevent, treat or cure any human disease;
(D) it is wrong or foolish to refuse that drink.
This section will hopefully reduce the advertisements that are geared towards young men and women that are all over Kenya. One billboard by Diageo depicts the marathon runners, the Ethiopian Gebreselassie is one such marathoner who was on a billboard but has now been replaced with Paul Tergat. But I would like to know who said running and using alcohol go together?! If these marathoners used alcohol, they would not have won any of the races they got into.
Another is about attractiveness that only beautiful people use a certain brand – Alcohol neither makes someone look beautiful, attractive or sexy but when marketed to the youth, they easily believe this falsehood.
4. Section 47 of No 4 of 2004 which it is proposed to Section 47 of No 4 of 2004 which it is proposed to amend— Encouraging consumption. .
(A) No person shall promote any alcoholic drink in such a manner as to encourage more consumption of an alcoholic drink in order to win an award or prize.
The breweries in Kenya were quite fond of promotions whereby the bottle cap of a beer bottle has a hidden prize, be it cash, holiday or even cars. This encouraged alcohol users to use more alcohol in the hope that they would win something. In the end only a very few number won but the biggest winner was always the alcohol producer. Therefore this amendment is clearly necessary for binge alcohol using to cease. There have been tendencies of alcohol industry to promote their products by offering “happy hours”, buy one get one free, or sponsoring cocktails. This leads to a lot of binge alcohol use since the alcohol is free. Over Valentine’s day, for instance Amarula had one such promotion.
5. Section 32 of No 4 of 2004 which it is proposed to amend— Information required on packages:
(A) Subject to this section, no person shall— (a) manufacture; (b) import; (c) sell or distribute,
an alcoholic drink unless the package containing the alcoholic drink conforms to the requirements of subsection (2).
(B) Every package containing an alcoholic drink shall—
(a) bear a statement as to its constituents; and
(b) have at least two of the health warning messages prescribed in the Second Schedule, in English or Kiswahili.
(C) The statement and health warning referred to in subsection (2) shall comprise not less than 30% of the total surface area of the package.
(D) All the warning labels specified in the Second Schedule shall be randomly displayed in each twelvemonth period on a rotational basis and in as equal a number of times as is possible, on every successive fifty packages of each brand of the alcoholic drink and shall be randomly distributed in all areas within the Republic of Kenya in which the alcoholic drink is marketed.
(E) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence.
6. Section 45 of the principal Act is amended by inserting a new subsection immediately after subsection (1) as follows— A person shall not promote an alcoholic drink or brand related element by—
(A) way of outdoor advertisement or bill board in places demarcated as residential areas or within a distance of three hundred meters from nursery, primary, secondary school, or other institution of learning for persons under the age of eighteen years or a place of worship, health facility or a public playground or any other public land or property or public service vehicle;
(B) way of broadcasting in any electronic media between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
(C) including anything in the promotion which might appeal to persons under the age of eighteen years by implying that the consumption of an alcoholic drink is fashionable or the accepted course of behavior;
(D) portraying or using a sports or entertainment personality to endorse an alcoholic drink or including any statement, picture or illustration implying that the consumption of an alcoholic drink enhances the prowess or success of that personality, or any statement, picture or illustration referring to any known, if such statement, picture or illustration implies, or if the reader may reasonably infer, that the use of alcoholic drink contributed to such known personality’s achievements;
(E) is misleading by exaggerating the capability or performance of an alcoholic drink;
(F) painting or decorating a residential building with the name of the alcoholic drink or manufacturer, color and brand images or logos associated with a manufacturer or an alcoholic drink or any other related form.
Billboards have been strewn all over Kenya depicting falsehoods about what happens when one uses alcohol. Huge buildings have been branded by producers when they are actually creating eyesores. The colors are not attractive and the extent of the advertising overwhelming to residents and visitors alike. This is a very important amendment and once passed, will change the face of Kenya.
By reading this article: it is crystal clear the goal that Big Alcohol is trying reach in Kenya by aggressive marketing in Kenya, which is to reel in the middle class so that they may waste their newly acquired disposable income by flushing it down the toilet, literally. The only thing that can stop this is the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act!
For MP John Mututho, the one whom this Act is informally named after, this work comes with its negative consequences – MP John Mututho lost his party nomination in Naivasha for the upcoming nomination probably due to his work on this Act and the Amendment. It is suspected Big Alcohol had a hand in this loss. However, Mututho obtained a direct nomination from another party so he managed to stay in the race. Yet he was doing this to help his constituency.
The work for Kenya has just begun, it seems. Getting the Act is only the first step.
For more information about the Kenya Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010 and the The Alcoholic Drinks Control (amendment) Bill 2012 visit :