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Busaa Not Illicit Drink, Says Nairobi Magistrate

CAPTION: Popular traditional brew: Busaa

A Nairobi magistrate on Thursday sent the court into amusement following her pronouncement that Busaa, a famous Kenyan alcoholic brew, is not an illicit drink.

The magistrate made the remarks after a woman, Ann Kayila, was found selling the liquor at her bar in Kibra was charged with possession of five litres of busaa inside her club in Mashimoni area which prosecution termed as illicit.

Kibera senior principal magistrate Esther Bhoke, in her defence, noted that Busaa was not an illicit liquor but a traditional brew.

Ann Kayila was accused of selling the “illicit” liquor and failing to conform to the prescribed standards outlined in the Alcoholic Drinks Act of 2010, a charge she admitted to.

However, contesting the charges, magistrate Bhoke noted that the Kayila’s only crime was selling busaa, a traditional drink revered in Western Kenya, without an appropriate license.

The woman pleaded guilty to the charges and begged for leniency, telling the court she had resorted to the brew business to fend for her three children for lack of better opportunities.

Ann Kayila

CAPTION: Ann Kayila at the Kibra Law Courts

Ms. Kayila was fined Sh10,000 for the offence, failure to which she will serve three-month imprisonment.

The liquor that was impounded at her premises was forfeited to the state.


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