The Manchester Distillers management has come out to clarify a news item that has been doing rounds across the Kenyan Media and attracting negative connotations towards their products.
According to several press reports, five people, among them two women, died after consuming suspected poisonous alcohol in Isiolo’s Kipsing and Oldonyiro locations.
The same media reports indicated that three other people had been referred to Isiolo County Referral Hospital after consuming a drink that was labelled ‘Smart Vodka’.
‘Smart Vodka’ is a brand of an alcoholic product manufactured by Manchester Distillers who now have gone public to disassociate themselves from the counterfeited ‘Smart Vodka’ that claimed five lives.
In a press release circulated to the media, the Manchester Distillers management has clarified that the drink that caused the fatalities is a fabricated knockoff of the original drink and that they are in no way associated with it.
“We wish to very authoritatively state that the ‘Smart Vodka’ that is said to have killed the five is NOT our product – it’s a counterfeit drink made to appear to look like ours in order to attract customers and hoodwink unsuspecting clients,” the statement opens.
” The simplest way of distinguishing our ‘Smart Vodka’ brand from the Isiolo knockoff is the cap (kifuniko).”
“Our official drink bears a white cap cleared labelled ‘Manchester’ and with the initials ‘SV’ for Smart Vodka. Also, its WHITE in color.
The Isiolo drink had a RED cap. Also, it didn’t feature the names ‘Manchester’ or the initials ‘SV’, instead, it was clearly written ” Premium Quality”.
The management further explained that, even after attempting to contact the Ministry of Interior to curb the wanton fake reproduction of the ‘Smart Vodka’, they’re yet to receive a reply and no action has been taken yet.
“Over the years, in fact, as late as last month, we wrote to the Ministry of Interior complaining about the rampant rise of counterfeited ‘Smart Vodka’ alcohol flooding the market and have yet to receive any word from the authorities.
“Infact, with the help of KRA officials, we have conducted various raids in Meru, Nakuru, Embu and other towns to clamp down on counterfeited ‘Smart Vodka’ drinks.” the statement says.
Smart Vodka was first assented to go into business late 2019 and in March, 2020, the business went into official production and has now covered most parts of Kenya and become a fast-selling, pocket-friendly vodka in major parts of Kenya.
Manchester Distillers also have pointed out that, even though they cover most parts of Kenya, they do not have a distributor in either Isiolo or Samburu and that should be enough proof that the deadly ‘Smart Vodka’ consumed in that area is fake and does not deserve to be on the market shelves.
“The matter has now been escalated to the police and we hope the Government will move with speed to curtail the unfortunate spread of fake products masquerading as original drinks,” the statement concludes.