Shock as Nairobi County reveals plan to close bars in the city

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Nairobi county Liquor and Licencing Board is preparing a proposal that will see the number of bars in the city reduced to only 3,000.

According to the Nairobi County deputy director of liquor licensing Hesbon Agwena, the proposal that will be ready in two months aims at controlling the now fast growing business in the city.

This suggestions come shortly after Interior CS Fred Matiang’i announced the suspension of Betting firms in Kenya with effect from July 1.

Matiang’i argued that betting is taking the lives of young people away and hence the sector needs to be controlled.

According to Mr. Angwena, the proposed policy on city bars will also control the maximim number of bars allowed in a particular area and the distance between one bar and another.

That means that your favorite joint in town could soon be shut down.

According to a 2014 census, only 7,200 bars were registered to carry out operations in the city.

The number rose to 12,500 in 2016 with only 736 registered and licensed by the county.

“We are coming up with a policy, which is currently before the Board, that will inform the number of bars that Nairobi should have, location, distance between one another and even enforcement. We are looking at scaling down the number to 3, 000 bars only in Nairobi. Eldoret for example has only 800 bars,” said Mr Agwena.

The county collected Sh254 million in annual revenue from 5,000 bars in the city falling short of the target of 7,000 bars in the 2017/2018 financial year.

In the 2018/2019 financial year, the county has so far collected Sh 124 million from 3,900 bars.

The county hopes that the figure will increase significantly before hitting the targeted 4,800 bars by June.

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