MP wants Nacada to take over licensing of bars

Gachagua accuses counties of giving them out solely for revenue collection purposes, leading to the high number

In Summary

• There are more bars than butcheries, shops and food kiosks combined in some shopping centres.

• Bars sell alcohol outside the prescribed time.

Nacada Central programs officer Robert Olweny and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua in Nyeri on Monday
TOO MANY BARS: Nacada Central programs officer Robert Olweny and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua in Nyeri on Monday

An MP wants Nacada to license bars for easier regulation of the number of bars and nightclubs. 

Mathira's Rigathi Gachagua says he will take the proposal to Parliament to ensure the role is transferred from the county governments. 

Gachagua further says the licensing fees should be used to initiate projects that empower the youth. 

The MP accuses Nyeri county government of issuing licences haphazardly to solely generate revenue. 

“In some shopping centres, we have more bars than shops, butcheries and food kiosks combined because the county wants to generate revenue.  Who will the revenue offer services to if our children perish from overconsumption of alcohol?” 

The county, according to the legislator, should have been involving the public when licensing bars.

He promised to have the rehabilitated youths involved in constituency projects like road construction.

National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse Central programmes officer Robert Olweny said they are working with the county to ensure bars are reduced. 

There have been complaints that there are many bars in the county, Olweny said.

Gachagua says one of the abused licences is the bar and restaurant licence which businesspeople use to sell alcohol throughout the registered hours in premises where there is no restaurant.  

“We shall work with the county government to ensure some of these licenses are cancelled and strict adherence of the law is enforced,” he said. 

They spoke at Ngorano in Mathira constituency during a family stewardship day on Monday. The seminar was organised by women groups to discuss alcohol issues. 

National government administrators and Nacada officials were invited.

There has been too much use of alcohol among men prompting the women to organise the seminar.

Most of the women complained that bars were opening outside the prescribed time making people drink all the time, which they said is affecting the community. 

“Nacada has agreed to work with them(women) to support this event and educate them on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse,” Olweny said.

The authority together with the county, he said, will set-up a treatment and rehabilitation centre at Ihururu in Tetu. He called on those who need the services to visit the existing one at Karia Health Centre.

He called on the rehabilitated people to make use of available government funds such as the Women Enterprise and Youth funds.  

The agency is working with the police and state officials to ensure bars that operate outside the prescribed time are closed immediately. 

Olweny said nationally, the rate of alcohol abuse is 12.1 per cent, cigarettes 8.1 per cent and bhang one per cent. Bhang smoking is also a problem in Nyeri.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)