Kenyans are questioning motive behind categorizing changáa and busaa as illicit brews when the country’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu, is at the forefront lobbying for the sale and consumption of Muratina in the UK. Muratina, like changaa and busaa, is locally brewed, the difference is, it is popular and common in Mt. Kenya, the president’s backyard.
“Now available on UK supermarket shelves is the Central Kenya traditional alcoholic drink ‘Muratina’, bottled in the UK by Othaya-born businessman King’ori Wambaki, now of Cheshunt, north of London, who is targeting expansion of Kenyan products in the market,” Esipisu tweeted.
Kenyans on social media are now questioning the criteria in which government uses to label some local brews illegal, and others, like Muratina legal, with endorsement from the highest levels of government.
Is Muratina favored by the regime because it is locally made in the president’s backyard and supports thousands of families in the region? If so, why should families outside the Mt Kenya region, brewing busaa, and chang’aa for a living be subjected to humiliation and arrest from the same government?
Below, are sampled reactions from Kenyans on twitter:
”Na mbona sisi tukikunya karubu kidogo ya kutuliza mawazo tunakamatwa kama bin laden,” Kevin Mulinge.
”Kenya is just but a funny country…back here we have restricted any form of commercialization of this Kikuyu local brew but out there people are making money with muratina…bure kabisa’,” – Harun Maina.
”What will it take to get the Luhya Busaa on those shelves? Seems anything abroad should be kikuyuish and it’s quite silly that ambassadors are marketing a tribe.” – Martin Andati.
”You’ll soon hear this being hailed a great innovation by same bureaucrats who will not allow it local stores. Hapa nyumbani ni haramu , ulaya it’s gold. Congrats King’ori Wambari at least you did it away from sharks ,wakoloni mamboleo.They can’t try the Keroche intimidation thing,” – Peter
Muratina is a sweet-sour alcoholic beverage that is obtained by fermentation and is one of the traditional Kenyan beverages, which have considerable social, cultural, and economic significance.