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Nairobi PC warns bar owners

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 17 – The government will not renew licenses for bar owners in Nairobi whose premises are within residential estates or in close proximity to schools, churches or mosques.

Speaking during a meeting of the Liquor Court meeting on Thursday, Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu issued a stern warning to bar owners that their licenses would be revoked if they failed to comply with the law.

“We have received complaints from various Nairobi residents that some of these joints (in residential areas) are very noisy and they operate beyond licensed hours as spelt out in the Liquor Licensing Act (Cap 121). We shall not refresh such licenses,” he stated.

“We will also require our applicants to observe cleanliness and hygiene and provide security for patrons in their premises. Those who prepare and sell food will also need a second license from the Hotels and Restaurants Authority.”

He noted that businesses which operated under Liquor Licenses as bars but also engaged in other side trades other than retailing alcohol would be shut down, including strip clubs.

“It is illegal for businesses to provide stripping services in the name of selling liquor or running night clubs. I can assure you that we shall not allow that. Police will be on patrol from the night of September 17 to the night of November 12. We are asking them to do their work, identify those places so that immediate action can be taken,” he added.

The PC also stated that such joints undermined the morality of the country. He also defended policemen saying that the officers would not disturb patrons unless there was cause to.

“Policemen have the mandate to enter any premise with the purpose of certifying that the licenses are genuine and to ensure the security of such places. It is good to note that the law does not allow bars to sell liquor to police officers who are in uniform. So while they are inspecting premises, bar attendants should not give them alcoholic beverages,” said the PC.

Mr Ndirangu noted that the licensing court had processed 4,613 liquor applications of which 4,370 had been paid for.

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“The government has therefore received Sh16 million in revenue collections from the issuance of the licenses,”

“Those who have not paid for their licenses have only two weeks to do so. If they do not, their premises will also be shut down,” declared Mr Ndirangu.

The PC encouraged private investments noting that it should only be done within the ambits of the law. He also revealed that 141 liquor applications would be considered in the meeting.

“Since the government aims to support income generation and wealth creation to achieve Vision 2030, the increase in the number of new applications needs professionalism,” he added.

A Liquor license costs approximately Sh3,600 shillings and is renewed on an annual basis. The 2009 licenses are set to be renewed in October.

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