EABL calls for legislation, taxation clarity in illicit brew fight
Alcoholic beverages manufacturer East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is calling on the government to exercise consistency in its regulation of the sector so as to enable the industry to better its accountability to stakeholders and consumers.
Speaking during a media tour at of the Ruaraka facility, EABL corporate relations director Erick Kiniti said the government could hold the key to halting the illicit liquor trade by imposing more consistent taxes to legitimate brewers so as to keep consumers off illegitimate liquor by offering more constant and affordable products.
“When taxes go up in a huge way, it affects the affordability and that puts a big disparity between legitimate products and illicit(s). Consumers strained on affordability will seek out cheaper alternatives,” Mr Kiniti said.
Mr Kiniti added that EABL was looking to wage its own battle with illicit brews in the country by working with counties from Western Kenya to bring illicit traders into legitimate alcohol trading through the opening up of a Sh15 billion Senator Keg plant in Kisumu.
“We are working with county governments along Western Kenya to identify areas with prevalence of illicit brews. We are working to subsidize licenses for them (illicit traders). We believe that the government is going to benefit greatly by starving the market off illicit(s),” Mr Kiniti added.
Kenya has seen a resurgence of illicit alcohol trading so far in 2018 resulting in drastic measures by government to control the impending epidemic.
For instance, Kiambu County ordered a halt to all alcohol trading and asked all traders to apply afresh for licenses.
Illicit alcohol trade had been on the low since a major crackdown by government in 2015.
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