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Government warns bar owners against flouting covid-19 protocols

Kitui County Commissioner John Ondego Wednesday warned bar owners against flouting Covid-19 protocols on physical distancing and illegally extending operational hours.
Ondego said that a multi-agency team has started monitoring bar operations in the county and bar owners found breaching Ministry of Health guidelines will have their licenses withdrawn and their business closed down indefinitely.
Speaking in Kitui Wednesday, the County Commissioner lamented that inhabitable buildings have been converted into bars risking the lives of revelers.
“Today it is a rental house tomorrow is a bar, some of the premises housing bars are dingy and do not meet the health threshold to be operational. We are shutting down such premises in a bid to protect the health of residents,” said Ondego.
The county commissioner applauded the members of the public for their efforts in ensuring the manufacture, sale and consumption of the killer brews is dealt with once for all.
The reopening of the economy by President Uhuru Kenyatta was meant to give a lifeline to business that were grounded during the containment period to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Ondego said that no amount of intimidation or threats from the manufacturers will slow down the government’s efforts in wiping out the illicit trade that had made majority of youths, who form the bulk of the country’s labour force to waste away.
“The second generation brands found in several bars do not have an expiry date as is the practice in business of ensuring quality goods for human consumption,” said the County Commissioner.
He commended police officers for being proactive in the fight against the illicit liquor, adding that the gesture will help restore the force’s lost confidence among Kenyans.
Ondego asked business owners operating bars to seek genuine licenses from the government so that they engage in profitable business rather than endangering the lives of Kenyans through selling hazardous alcohol to unsuspecting members of the public.
The County Commissioner said the operation against the killer brews across the sub-county has intensified with the support of elected leaders and wananchi.
Separately, Ondego lamented that the prolonged dry season is pushing camel herders from Tana River County into Kitui County in search of water and pasture, fueling fears of possible conflict over the scarce natural resources.
The County Commissioner said that police are on high alert to drive the camel herders back to their respective homes to avert clashes in the area.
“I am in constant communication with my counterpart in Tana River to constitute a team that will hold meetings with the herders to stick to their borders despite the harsh weather conditions that may tempt them to cross over to Kitui in search of pasture and water for their camels,” said Ondego.
The County Commissioner said that the government cannot sit back at the backdrop of any intrusion that will destabilize peace that the locals are enjoying in the area at the expense of camels need for pasture.
“I appeal to wananchi to remain calm as government agencies swing into action to ensure safe passage of any camels within our border back to Tana River County,” said the administrator.
Ondeg reiterated the government’s resolve to maintain peace and peaceful coexistence amongst communities along the porous border of Kitui-Tana River counties.
“We will continue flushing out herders who are grazing their camels inside Kitui South Game Reserve. This will help stop their influx and associated conflicts in Mutha,” said the County Commissioner.
By Yobesh Onwong’a

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