The Kirinyaga Bar Owners Association, led by chairman Anthony Mucheke, has come out to oppose Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s recent call to have operating licenses issued to a single bar in every town across the country.
Speaking in Ngurubani, Mwea constituency, Mucheke opined that if DP Gachagua’s proposal was to be enforced, bar owners and operators would lose their source of income, adding on to the country’s already high unemployment rate.
“As Kirinyaga bar owners, we will not agree to his demand and neither will we close our businesses. It’s absurd to have people travel from one part of the county to another just to purchase alcohol from a single location,” Mucheke said to journalists
“While we respect DP Gachagua, he should know that most bar operators and owners are from Central Kenya. So should the government choose to enforce his directive many Mt. Kenya residents will lose their livelihoods.”
While noting that bar owners support the government’s crackdown on illicit alcohol, Mucheke added that most bars are yet to recover from the adverse economic effects of COVID-19 as such introducing the policy at this point in time would not favour bar owners businesswise.
“We don’t have an issue with enforcing a crackdown on illicit brews and we are ready to join the government in reining in illicit alcohol sellers but the products we sell are legit and have been verified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards,” he said.
“The constitution is clear that anyone can set up a business in any part of the country without being subjected to intimidation or threats.
DP Gachagua on Thursday called on county governments to regulate the issuance of licenses for bars and pubs, saying consumption of illicit liquor has reached worrying levels especially in the Mt. Kenya region.
As Kirinyaga bar owners, we will not agree to his demand and neither will we close our businesses
“Bar and restaurant (license) tupeane moja kwa town. Hii ingine tufunge; wafungue saa kumi na moja hadi saa tatu. Tafadhali county commissioners and police please do your job. Let us save our children, let us save the next generation,” said Gachagua then.