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Liquor shops closed, bar owners arrested in Nairobi swoop

The Nairobi County government inspectorate has moved to enforce the directives by Governor Johnson Sakaja to close liquor shops located near bus stops and terminals.

On February 26, 2024, a multispectral operation between the Nairobi Liquor Department, Security and Compliance, and National Police shut down 20 liquor outlets.

25 bar owners were also arrested.

The move comes a week after the county boss directed the Nairobi Liquor Department and the Security and Compliance departments to clamp down on wines and spirit joints located near bus stops and terminals.

The operation, led by Tim Kimani, the Chief Officer in charge of Security and Compliance, and Judith Anyango, Vice Chair of the Nairobi County Liquor Board, targeted wines and spirits joints at the Country bus station, Muthurwa bus terminus, Hakati bus station, Accra road terminus, Latema road terminus and Old nation round about.

The County Executive Committee member (CEC) under Business and Hustler Opportunities Ms Maureen Njeri, said the operation revealed the targeted liquor shops are unlicensed.

“Preliminary data collection within Starehe sub-county established that most wines and spirits operating in the bus terminuses are unlicensed and hence operating in contravention with Nairobi City County alcoholic drinks control and licensing act of 2014,” Ms Njeri said.

The CEC added that the liquor department is in the process of collating data for the other outlets located in bus terminus across the other remaining subcounties for closure in the coming days.

During the crackdown, verification of outlet licenses will be part of the exercise to ensure there are no developments or sprouting of illegal alcohol.

In his recent statement, the governor said that the county liquor board and enforcement teams have his full blessings and support to rid this city of unbecoming behavior, where young men and women start drinking as early as 9 am.

According to the governor, the presence of liquor shops near the matatu stages was posing a threat to the residents since some of the drivers and touts were spending most of their time taking wines and spirits.

“We have lost loved ones due to recklessness on our roads because of alcohol and drug abuse. We have even discovered that all these bars targeted have been operating with the required licenses…we will no longer allow and tolerate disorder in the city. Nairobi is the capital city. I have directed the removal of all wines and spirits shops located around matatu terminals and bus stops.”

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