- Gachagua has said the government has no authority to direct governors to shut down licensed bars and restaurants.
- He appealed to the county bosses to consider reducing the number of those licensed bars and restaurants as a way of dealing with alcoholism.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said the government has no authority to direct governors to shut down licensed bars and restaurants.
The DP instead said the national government will appeal to county bosses to consider reducing the number of those licensed bars and restaurants as a way of dealing with alcoholism.
Gachagua, who had on Thursday ordered governors from Mt Kenya region and national administration officers to only license one bar and restaurant in every town, appeared to climb down on his tough stance.
“What we have requested the governors, and the word is to request as we cannot order them, to consider bars and restaurants that sell alcohol 24 hours to be reduced,” Gachagua said.
“The rest of the bars should operate from 5pm to 11pm so that those who want to drink can go home and wake up early while sober to go to work.”
The DP said President William Ruto's administration will not fight licensed businesses, but will instead support them to expand their enterprises.
“This administration of William Ruto will protect and expand businesses and we shall help all the businesses to expand,” he said.
“Our officers will fight illicit brew but businesses that are licensed, will not be targeted.”
The DP said alcoholism is a big problem in the Mt Kenya region and the government is determined to deal with illicit brews.
“The alcohol problem in Central Kenya is serious.....on illicit brews and bhang, because nobody has licensed them, that must be dealt with firmly to save our young people,” he said at Shauri Moyo.
On Thursday, Gachagua warned that mushrooming bars in Mt Kenya are destroying the lives of young people.
“Only one bar and restaurant licence shall be issued in each town in Mt Kenya region so that we can have orders. It is sad that bars are mushrooming in this region more than shops,” he said in Ihura Stadium Murang'a.
But on Friday, Gachagua said he had been misquoted by the media as having directed governors to close bars and restaurants.
Licences for bars and restaurants are major sources of income for county governments.