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Bars owners demand dissolution of county liquor directorate

Restaurant and Bar owners in Murang’a are demanding dissolution of the county liquor directorate, saying the members’ term had expired.

The business people claimed members of the directorate were in office illegally since their two-year term lapsed in 2017.

The county bar owners association who on Wednesday gathered in Murang’a town raised a red flag over continued illegal inspection of their outlets by the directorate.

Led by  their  Chairman Simon Njoroge, the bar owners want an interim board to be put in place before establishment of another directorate.

They argued that current members of the directorate were mistreating them as they demanded money for renewal of licenses.

Njoroge accused the directorate of issuing an order to conduct fresh inspection of all bars starting in November 25.

The  Chairman  stated that the association was opposed to licensing of new bars, following outcry from other stakeholders over the increased number annually.

“The county government should stop licensing more outlets, as it has been viewed as a platform to exhort new applicants,” added Njoroge.

The Chairman said that members of the association should be incorporated at the sub county committees to ensure their operations were transparent.

“As members, we need to be incorporated in the directorate so as to ensure people who qualify are licensed to run bar businesses,” he further said.

Speaking on the same occasion, the nominated MCA, Stephen  Chege  said the county government needed to get the right number of bars operating in the county.

He noted that there were many outlets which were operating illegally thus contributing to alcoholism in the county.

Chege observed that the existing directorate needed to be dissolved and a fresh one be instituted so as to regulate operations of liquor businesses in the county.

“The assembly has received a petition from the bar owners,” said Chege.

Chege  who chairs youth committee said he was against licensing of more bars in Murang’a following concerns raised over plight of the youth.

“The committee recommends that the county revenue unit establishes number of liquor outlets to enhance revenue collection,” said Chege.

The  sub county liquor committee is chaired by administrators, with members drawn from various departments including public health and National Police Service (NPS).

By  Bernard Munyao

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