The former chairman of the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) was addressing the media on Wednesday, July 22.
Mututho argued that thousands of addicts may die, with the number of fatalities recorded soaring higher than the deaths associated with the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
“It is a fact that liquor has killed many and destroyed families, but the current proposal to ban its sale will lead to high mortality among the addicts,” Mututho warned, adding that the proposal by Kagwe to ban the consumption of alcohol inside bars and entertainment zones would dent NACADA’s effort to fight consumption of illicit brews.
Mututho wondered what measures CS Kagwe would stipulate to control over 8 million alcohol addicts in Kenya who may turn to illicit brews after bars and wines and spirits are shut down.
He argued that Kagwe made an untimely directive and should have consulted NACADA before issuing the notice.
Efforts to get a response from officials at NACADA were futile by the time of publishing.
Bar owners further warned that Kenya may lose up to Ksh50 billion with over 500,000 losing their jobs following the order made by Kagwe.
“We have noted with concern the draft regulation by MoH. If the proposal is approved, youths will be rendered jobless and businesses are likely to collapse,” Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) chairperson Alice Opee stated on Wednesday, July 22.
Kagwe stipulated a Ksh20,000 fine or six-month imprisonment for any individual who would be found selling or drinking alcohol in bars and restaurants upon adoption of the proposal.
According to a national survey conducted by NACADA in 2017, alcohol was cited as the most used substance of abuse with 12.2% of persons aged 15 – 65 being active consumers.
Alcohol use also contributes to the highest-burden of substance use disorders (SUDs) with 10.4% of the population aged between 15 and 65 years being addicted to it. It added that four out of every 100 people lose their lives in Kenya as a result of alcohol abuse.
Watch the video below: