The Association of bar owners has called on the Government to re-open bars and allow them to operate in order to help in restoring the country’s economy.
Addressing the media in Nakuru on Saturday, the association Secretary General Boniface Gachoka stated that they have been complying with the MOH guidelines on shut down of bars.
While noting that they have lost a lot for the last six months, Gachoka says with the continued drop in COVID-19 cases, it is time that the government allows bars to resume operation.
“When the government said that all bars be closed down we complied but now the cases are decreasing and that is why we are calling on the President to allow us to re-open” he said.
Gachoka also faulted the government move to increase the Excise Duty on liquor as indicated by Kenya Revenue Authority and the Treasury.
He says the move is uncalled for owing to what the sector has gone through during the COVID-10 period.
According to him, the proposal to increase Excise Duty is a blow to the sector and will pave way for illicit brews besides loss of jobs.
“The move by the government to increase Excise Duty on liquor is uncalled for during this period that we are struggling with an economy that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the government through the treasury to re-think on the decision” he said.
The Association of bar owners also called on the government to move with speed and crack down on illicit brew that Gachoka says has continued to pose a threat to their businesses as Bar owners.
They have vowed to work closely with government agencies towards addressing the same.
This even as the Association plans for Sunday Service in Nakuru to seek divine intervention over the challenges that the sector has been facing.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation on Monday on COVID-19 containment measures and plans for restoration of the economy.