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Why Sakaja reviewed taxes on liquor licences

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja says he had to demolish liquor shops located next to bus terminus within the capital after receiving reports drivers were ferrying passengers while drunk.

The operation to close the liquor stores, commonly known as Wines and Spirits, has affected close to 150 stalls.

The enforcement team that led this demolishion excercise comprised officers from the county inspectorate department and the national police.

“We have to safeguard the lives of the millions of our residents who use public transport each day,” said Sakaja.

“We will also find a way to talk to the drivers and conductors on how they can adhere to discipline while at work.”

The demolition excersise comes days after the Nairobi City County government announced reduced taxes for liquor sellers after an outcry from the traders.

In the new levies, bars will pay Sh25,000 for licences down from Sh100,000, a reduction of 75 percent.

Medium bar licences have been reduced from the current Sh100,000 to Sh35,000, a 35 percent waiver for the current fiscal year 2023/2024.

In the general alcohol retail category for bars and restaurants, the county has announced a 50 percent waiver, meaning they will pay Sh50,000 instead of Sh100,000,

It is a win too for small bars and restaurants with up to 30 seats since they have received a 100 percent waiver from their current Sh30,000 fee.

The medium bars and restaurants operating in Nairobi with a sitting capacity of up to 100 people will be paying Sh75,000, which is Sh25,000 less than what had earlier been proposed.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 (2) (a) of the Nairobi City County Waivers Administration Act, 2013, the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning, in concurrence with the Governor has given waivers on the charges for the financial year 2023-2024,” a statement from the County reads in part.

In 2023, the county amended Section 25 of the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Act, 2014 and reviewed the charges for general retail alcoholic drinks upward.

The latest announcement comes after the governor received a report from the task force that was formed to probe the challenges facing bar owners.

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