• May 27, 2024
  • Last Update May 26, 2024 7:22 PM
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Embu bar operators protest over harassment

Embu bar operators protest over harassment


April, Friday, 19, 2024

KNA by Samuel Waititu

Bar operators in Embu have decried harassment by law enforcers in the ongoing crackdown on illicit brews manufacturers and traders.

They accused Chiefs and their Assistants of indiscriminately closing down bars without following due process and also demanding bribes to save others.

They said the administrators had overstepped their mandate of keeping law and order by going ahead to order closure of bars yet they are not the licensing authority.

“Our members who are doing legitimate business have been unfairly targeted in this war putting many out of business and leading to loss of livelihood,” said Embu County Bars, Hotels and Liquor Dealers Association Chair Abraham Gicovi.

He said those dealing in manufacture and sale of illicit liquor were well known and they were ready to cooperate with the government to expose them to protect their businesses.

Gicovi called on the County Commissioner to take action against the “rogue” administrators whom they claimed were harassing them and tainting the name of the Government in the name of waging war in illicit brews.

The Association Secretary Taratisio Kawe said the crackdown had left many of their members in financial limbo with the blanket crackdown and closure of bars.

He called on both the National and County Government to spare their businesses while calling for a review of restricted areas.

“Some of the areas previously gazetted as restricted areas that our members operate in have over the years developed into towns or trading centers which calls for a fresh review,” he said.

He additionally said no one should be harassed on account of not having an operating license as all were cancelled earlier this year pending fresh vetting.

“This is something we agreed with the concerned authorities that our members should not be pestered over lack of it,” Kawe said.

Bar operator, Lilian Mururi, said they were no longer able to meet their financial commitments including loan repayments, rent and leases, salaries and taking care of their families.

They called for a meeting with the County Boss Governor Cecily Mbarire for a roundtable conversation with a view of establishing an appropriate framework that would enable them carry on with their trade.

Courtesy; KNA

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