Nairobi News

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Bar owners on the spot over opening hours

The national anti-drugs agency is working with County Hall to crack down on bars operating outside the designated hours.

Dozens of bars in downtown Nairobi and in various estates which start selling alcohol as early as 9am have been put on notice by chairman John Mututho of the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada).

“Many of these bars selling alcohol outside the designated hours are operating with fake licences and I have ordered my people to enforce the law,” he said.

Mr Mututho said the agency was working with Governor Evans Kidero’s office to review policies governing the sale of alcohol as well as unravel those retailing alcohol with fake licences.

A survey by Nairobi News established that hundreds of bars were selling alcohol outside the designated hours. Most notorious are bars in downtown Nairobi and those popularly known as “wines and spirits” outlets in the estates.

Eric Mwanzia, a boda boda operator on Ronald Ngala Street said  many bar owners were working in cahoots with corrupt police officers who allowed them to operate outside the regular hours, after paying protection fees.

“The county askaris are always on patrol even during the day; there is no way they can claim all this happens without their knowledge,” said Mwanzia.

According to the law, bars are supposed to open at 5pm on week days and close at 11pm, while during weekends they should open at 2pm and close at 11pm.

Watchman Jefferson Mwanzia on Accra Road also said the bars were breaking the law. “Frequently you find the bars do not close at 11pm and only lock the doors while clients are still drinking inside,” he said.

Another notorious area is Muthurwa market, he said.