Bar owners in Kiambu County are calling upon the government to allow them to operate with regulations or come up with alternative measures that will enable them to provide for their families.
The Kiambu Liquor Welfare Group Chairman Richard Kagiri told KNA in Kiambu town that closing bars and restaurants is not going to help in any way and that the government should take the bitter pill and allow people to trade and give them a chance to protect themselves as they eke a livelihood.
“The move by the government to close bars has pushed us to dig out statistics regarding the spread of coronavirus. Shockingly none of our members has died of Covid-19 nor our clients, infact we are succumbing to depression and not Covid-19,” Kagiri said.
The distraught chairman said if it was a must that the Government closes the businesses then it should have been done across the board for all businesses to level the platform,” Kagiri argued.
He said he had toured Kiambu Market earlier in the day and found people crowding in total disregard to the containment protocols and wondered what statistics the government was using to point an accusing finger at bars and restaurants for allegedly being the main culprit in the spread of the deadly virus.
While expressing his concern to the people who are addicted to liquor, Kagiri regretted that withdrawal syndromes were real and many people have died of it but that nobody was shouting about it.
The liquor welfare chair urged the government to give them a chance to make it a personal responsibility to fight corona while being their brother’s keeper.
“Now that the bars are closed, our clients are left with no option than to look for all means of getting the same from the wholesalers’ liquor shops and take it home, thus making it so dangerous that the schools are closed and children were exposed to alcoholic drinks.”
He warned, “When someone gets drunk, some use vulgar language while others misbehave and that is what he regretted was likely to be emulated by children and some of the children will even start drinking because alcohol is readily available in the homes.”
In his 15th national address on the Corona virus pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru individually and collectively a disease infected area hence the reason for locking down the zone. The President also suspended operations of bars in the affected zone saying the sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries in the five counties is prohibited.
By Catherine Muindi