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Economy

There are 959 liquor outlets in Kasarani sub-county against 300 public schools. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi County has frozen the issuance of new liquor licences in a bid to review existing permits.

The freeze has been triggered by the proliferation of wines and spirits outlets, most operating without City Hall’s approval.

On Tuesday, Nairobi County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board chairman Kennedy Odhiambo directed the 17 sub-county liquor committee members not to accept new applications until the board carries out an audit of existing ones.

Mr Odhiambo said the move was meant to control the number of alcohol outlets sprouting near schools and in residential areas.

He said that out of 12,500 liquor outlets licensed by the previous board, only 4,593 had renewed their licences in the 2017/18 financial year.

“We have decided that for now, the issuance of licences for new bars and wines and spirits outlets be suspended until further notice,” said Mr Odhiambo.

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City Hall investigations revealed that many bar owners operate with provisional licences or business permits, thus denying the county government revenue. He said that in some areas wines and spirits outlets operate with photocopies of licences. Board vice chair Rose Gichuki said they will inspect liquor outlets to root out unlicensed operators.

She said that they had already closed about 100 outlets over non-compliance with government regulations and arrested dealers who had flouted liquor selling and health requirements.

“We closed down outlets for failure to meet the minimum requirements for licensing and health standards,” said Ms Gichuki. Nairobi Regional Commissioner Kang’ethe Thuku urged the board to control and regulate alcohol outlets in the county.

National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) statistics for 2017 show that Nairobi County led in alcohol consumption at 17.5 per cent of the nationals ratio.

There are 959 liquor outlets in Kasarani sub-county against 300 public schools, Mr Thuku said, adding that the ratio is worrying. He said that the government had destroyed 4,200 litres of chang’aa, 3,315 litres of kangara, 770 litres of busaa and muratina since January.



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