Bars, Hotels, Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA) has urged their members to operate as stipulated in their various business licenses, so as to avoid unnecessary conflicts with law enforcement agents.
Speaking to the press at a Murang’a hotel Wednesday, BAHLITA National Chairman Simon Njoroge urged all their members to adhere to the government protocols on Covid-19 and also strive to operate within the hours specified in their business licenses.
“We thank the president for lifting the night curfew and opening up our businesses, now we urge all members to operate within the stipulated time,” Njoroge said.
He observed that the sector is one of those most severely affected by Covid-19 and it might take the hospitality sector up to 4 years to recover.
“We are still feeling the effects of Covid-19, things are not back to normal as we expected, even after the curfew was lifted,” he said, adding that so far about 15,000 businesses which are covered by the association had not yet re-opened.
The chairman noted that with the hard times the sector has faced of late, the government should review the licenses required for such businesses and probably come up with a single comprehensive license, instead of the six that are required currently.
Njoroge cautioned alcohol consumers against driving under the influence of alcohol, noting that although they can now stay out late, it was their sole responsibility to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.
At the same time, the chairman urged members of the association to keep off any counterfeit alcohol, saying the association is in support of the ongoing Rapid Response Initiative by the government aimed at fighting the menace.
We can only hope this will not be used by the law enforcing officers to extort money from genuine liquor traders, added Njoroge.
Meanwhile, the chairman urged the government to incorporate members of BAHLITA in all the relevant boards at the Ministry of Tourism and NACADA among other government agencies for better working relationship.
By Purity Mugo