ALCOHOL MANUFACTURE

Alcohol manufacturers seek extension of bar operating hours

ABAK said allowing longer hours will have a positive impact on manufacturing.

In Summary

•ABAK chairman Eric Githua said the Covid-19 positivity rate has reduced and the uptake of vaccines has increased.

•The manufacturers' petition comes barely three days after bar and restaurant operators called for a full reopening of the economy, saying that more than 250,000 jobs have been lost since the onset of Covid-19 in Kenya.

ABAK Chairman Eric Githua, Bahlita Secretary-General Boniface Gachoka, Deputy County Commissioner Fred Ndunga and Bahlita Chairman Simon Njoroge
ABAK Chairman Eric Githua, Bahlita Secretary-General Boniface Gachoka, Deputy County Commissioner Fred Ndunga and Bahlita Chairman Simon Njoroge
Image: HANDOUT

The Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya has called on the government to increase bar operating time by at least two hours.

In a statement on Thursday, Abak chairman Eric Githua said the Covid-19 positivity rate has reduced and the uptake of vaccines has increased.

“Abak notes the Covid-19 positivity rate in the last week has been averaging below five per cent, which is the recommended rate by the World Health Organisation for consideration in adjusting public health and social measures in the context of Covid-19,” he said.

He noted that allowing bars and restaurants to operate longer would create more employment opportunities and help businesses in the hard-hit sector recover.

Githua said allowing longer hours would also have a positive impact on manufacturing, which is one of the current administration’s vital areas of focus under the Big Four Agenda.

Bars currently operate only until 7pm following the Covid-19 containment measures announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, on the recommendation of the National Emergency Response Committee.

The manufacturers' petition comes barely three days after bar and restaurant operators called for a full reopening of the economy, saying that more than 250,000 jobs have been lost since the onset of Covid-19 in Kenya.

The Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association said at least 7,500 popular bars, hotels and entertainment spots had been shut across the country and workers sent home, while owners face auctioneers.

“Closing at 7pm has left many businesses struggling with low sales and inability to pay workers. We are praying that this time the government will open the economy or even add us more hours,” BAHLITA chairman Simon Njoroge said.