Kiambu: Bar owners reject new laws
Kiambu bar owners have termed the recently enacted Kiambu Alcoholic Act 2020 as draconian, outdated and retrogressive.
The owners drawn from different sub-counties threatened to move to court and stop it's implementation noting that they were not involved by the county government in making the law.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro announced the enactment of the bill on Friday and said any bar owner who flouts the new laws will implicate other bar owners in their localities.
“From Mondays to Fridays, all bars should operate between 5pm to 11pm and 2pm to 11 pm on weekends and public holidays,” said Nyoro.
He said they are going to hold all the bars in a region accountable if one operates outside the permitted hours
Nyoro said there will no longer be wines and spirits operators in the entire county.
“If you want to operate a retail wines and spirit shop, please convert it to a bar, sell your wines and spirits and other drinks together. We shall not allow any premise to be allowed to sell only wines and spirit. Our licensing team will be ready to come and license you as a bar,” said Nyoro.
He added that the only people who will be licensed to sell wines and spirits are those operating a wholesale business.
The governor said that every bar premise must be at least 300 metres away from a residential area, school or church.
“People who will be doing inspection will be having a measuring device for 300 meters and if you are within then know you do not qualify. Inspection will start immediately for two weeks after which the licensing will be done and be complete and closed on 15th April," said Nyoro.
He said the act was amended to include members of the national government in the inspection of bars who had been excluded.
However, liquor owners have criticised the law saying they were not procedural.
According to Richard Kagiri, Chairman of Kiambu Liquor Welfare Group, legal bar operators are not contended with the amendments since their views were well collected during public participation.
“There can never be a bill of the county assembly if the county assembly itself has never established a county gazette as a bill must be published in a county gazette then to the Kenya Gazette according to the County Government Act,” said Kagiri.
He said the bar owners have been in court battles with the county government since 2012 over the alcoholic drinks act and the county governments had lost in all instances because of lack of following the law .