In Kirinyaga County, a crackdown was started on illicit brews, illegal drinking establishments, and unlicensed liquor stores on Wednesday.
Following the multi-agency operation led by the National Police Service, more than 30 bar owners have subsequently been detained and their unlawful businesses have been shut down.
The remaining bootleggers were apprehended in Gichugu, while another dozen were detained in Ndia sub-county and twelve more in Wang’uru town.
The closed establishments won’t reopen until their owners comply with the county’s alcohol control act, according to Dennis Muciimi, the Kirinyaga County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Sports, Culture, and Social Services.
A total of 2,200 liquor outlets in the region have since been inspected and cleared by county officials, and all of them have complied with the rules outlined in the aforementioned Act, he continued.
Jacqueline Njogu, CECM for Finance and Economic Planning, advised proprietors of illegal bars to cease their operations, saying that doing so results in the county losing millions in unpaid taxes.
Following a request from Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, security personnel in the county were instructed to reign in shady alcohol vendors.
Governor Waiguru desires the permanent closure of all illegal bars operating in the area, including those doing business in residential neighborhoods.
She also urges bar owners to pay their taxes as they are due, adding that many bars have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic limitations that were put in place to prevent the spread of the disease, which had an adverse effect on their business.
The Kirinyaga County administrator claims that outstanding levies owed by bar owners total Ksh. 100 million.
However, Kirinyaga bar owners are opposed to the continued crackdown, claiming that they are being forced to pay license fees despite having a lawsuit pending in court about the matter.
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