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MELTA condemns the closure of licensed bars and clubs

Following the tragic incidents of illicit beer consumption in Kirinyaga County, Mr Francis Mbogo, the Chairman of the Small and Medium Liquor Traders Association (MELTA) has expressed his heartfelt condolences to the affected families.

Francis also condemned the decision by the county government to abruptly close licensed and compliant bars and clubs.

Mbogo expressed MELTA’s solidarity with the families affected by the consumption of illicit brews, saying “our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time”.

However, he condemned the blanket closure of law-abiding establishments orchestrated by Governor Anne Waiguru’s administration, which has left over 5000 citizens jobless.

“While we understand the importance of public health and safety,” said Mbogo.

“we believe that this blanket closure is having a devastating effect on the employment sector, especially in these difficult economic times.”

The closure of compliant bars and clubs not only means unemployment for bartenders, waiters, security guards and other staff, but also disrupts the entire supply chain, affecting liquor distributors, manufacturers, vendors, bodaboda drivers and suppliers who depend on these establishments as their main customers.

Mbogo urged the county government to reconsider its approach and work with stakeholders in the alcohol industry to find alternative solutions that prioritise public health while protecting the livelihoods of those affected.

“We are committed to working with the government to address the underlying issues while promoting a thriving and responsible alcohol industry,” he affirmed.

After Governor Anne Waiguru ordered the closure of all bars in Kirinyaga County, bar owners are facing significant financial losses.

This directive comes in response to the tragic deaths of 17 individuals in the region attributed to consuming a toxic brew.

The affected traders expressed deep concern over the Governor’s decision, emphasizing the substantial negative impact it has had on their businesses.

They described the directive as harsh and are appealing to the government to reconsider its stance and lift the closure order.

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