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County commissioner vows to ensure compliance with alcohol directives

Turkana county commissioner Julius Kavita has vowed to ensure strict adherence to the national government directives on the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Addressing members of the public in Lodwar on Thursday, Kavita said the county security team would not relax the rules that have seen many bars and wine and spirits shops closed in the county until they comply with the stipulated regulations.

He was responding to calls from bar operators who decried loss of business and which had caused them to sack their bar attendants as a result.

A bar operator who is also the chairperson of the Lodwar county drivers and transporters association Ronald Manywele had requested the commissioner to consider allowing them to resume their operations.

‘We are requesting you as the commissioner to consider the plight of our fellow businesspersons and workers who have no other source of income. Many bar attendants have lost their jobs and are staring at being evicted from their houses for lack of rent,’ said Manywele.

In his response, Kavita said,’ I have made covert visits to Lodwar county referral hospital and have not found anyone admitted for not consuming alcohol”.

However, he promised those who would have complied with the new directives issued by the government that they will be allowed to reopen their businesses next week.

They will be required to observe the law and those who flout the regulations will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The commissioner at the same time urged residents to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in arresting illicit and counterfeit liquor from a neighbouring country.

When asked to intervene by the bar operators, Governor Jeremiah Lomorkuai said his hands were tied because the directive was from the presidency and there was nothing much he could do.

Scores of people have been arrested and arraigned in court in the county for flouting the directive on the sale and consumption of alcohol with some having been penalized hefty fines as high as Sh140,000 for the offences.

 

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