Commerce

Bid to reduce bars hampered by illegal outlets

Monday, December 20th, 2021 08:40 | By
Alcohol PHOTO/Courtesy

Efforts to reduce the number of bars from over 2,000 to 600 in Nyandarua county is being hampered by unlicensed traders operating using court orders.

Only 623 traders out of the 2,400 outlets applied and are allowed to trade after vetting by the Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Control Committee recently.

However, local Bar Owners Association members have decried competition they are getting from their unlicensed counterparts, who went to court to challenge stringent requirements set by the committee.

They said it was unfair for them to have endured the vetting and payment of the license fees, only for their unlicensed counterparts to sell and mint profits unregulated.

“We do not know what to do because having people operate without license may compromise efforts to bring sanity in this industry,” said Bar Owners Association chair John Kariu.

Differences emerged between the traders, as some went to court to contest the stringent measures and got orders, which has since enabled them to operate without licenses until the case is heard and determined.

Among the stringent rules by the Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Control committee include display of certified alcoholic drinks on sale and clean premises far away from learning institutions.

Chair of Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Management Committee Joseph Kaguthi regrets that the licensed traders have to compete with their unlicensed counterparts. He, however, defended the court against the confusion, saying no court order had allowed the unlicensed traders to carry on with business.

“The alcoholic licensing regime in Nyandarua is in shambles. We had rejected some of the applicants, as others did not have toilets while others operated next to schools,” he said.

He called on residents to report any traders taking advantage of the weak enforcement to sell unauthorised liquor.

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