Mbarire orders closure of 500 bars in Embu

Friday, March 1st, 2024 16:26 | By
Embu Mbarire
Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire. PHOTO/Brian Malila

Embu governor Cecile Mbarire has ordered the closure of 500 bars in the county.

Speaking on Friday, March 1, 2024, Mbarire said the bars that will be affected by the directive include those within the school surroundings and residential areas.

Mbarire claimed that the directive followed after the affected bars went against the liquor licensing regulations.

The county head additionally underscored that all bars closed will not get their licenses renewed.

"Bar amabazo ziko mahali shule iko, village ambayo iko na hizo zote nataka kuwaambia hatutarenew license, tutapeleka list on social media ujue hakuna haja ya ku apply because we will not renew your license," she said.

The latest directive follows days after select bars in Kirinyaga were re-opened after a week of compulsory closure.

In her speech, county governor Anne Waiguru noted that the county did a verification of all the 700 liquor stores in the county.

Waiguru noted that select bars were reopened after the verification team confirmed that they met the required standards, whereas others remained closed because they did not adhere to the liquor licensing regulations.

“We are in the process of issuing documentation and licenses today so that they can start operating this evening,” Waiguru announced.

Waiguru had ordered the closure of all 700 bars after 17 people died after consuming illicit brew in Kandongu villages in Mwea West, Kirinyaga county.

The war against illicit liquor has continued to intensify across the country with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua leading the course.

DP Gachagua together with various government officials, have pledged to continue setting stringent measures to do away with the bottleneck which has been wreaking havoc in different parts of the country.

Gachagua noted that he was working hand in hand with senior government officials and security officers to actualise the goal.

"I held a meeting this week with top Government officials and senior security officers and we have agreed on these measures which will be rolled out from next week," he said.

On the other hand, Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome asked the government to allow police to license liquor stores instead of county governors.

In his explainer, Koome noted that if effected, the change will immensely contribute to curbing illicit brews in the country, the IG also affirmed that licensing liquor joints should be handled as a security matter as it endangers people's lives.

He explained that the role should be reverted to the police because governors had formed a tendency to politicise the licensing of alcohol stores such that they forget the security aspect of it and subsequently put lives at risk.

"Narequest sheria zibadilishwe, hii mambo ya licensing ya this outlets za pombe irudi vile zilikua zamani, magavana ni ukweli ile tumefanya ni siasa, we shall listen more talk less but act and from today wenzangu let your presence be felt. From today let me get returns on how many barons have been arrested whoever it is whatever the status in the society ni kurushwa kwa Land Cruiser nyuma mengine tutaongea baadae," he stated.

Loosely translates to;

"I will request that maybe the law be changed regarding the licensing of alcohol outlets to return to the way it was in the past. Governors here will hate me but you know that the IG of this country is not a populist contest. I don't need to be popular. This matter of governors licensing alcohol matters is a security concern. Our people are dying. When the governor is there, to tell the truth, he looks at the votes and revenue. The security aspect is being forgotten."

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