Waiguru announces re-opening of bars issued with 2024 licenses after week long vetting exercise

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has announced the reopening of bars that have been vetted and issued with the 2024 liquor licenses beginning today at 5pm.

Waiguru said the county government had conducted fresh verification of some 700 liquor outlets across the county.

She said the verification team had recommended reopening and closure of some of the facilities that had met the standard or were dimmed not to have complied with liquor licensing regulations.

The re-opening comes just a week after she ordered immediate closure of all liquor outlets in the county following deaths of 17 people after consuming brew suspected to have been laced with ethanol at Kangai and Kandongu village in Mwea West.

“We are in the process of issuing documentation and licenses today so that they can start operating this evening,” Waigurusaid.

She said bars that were found not to have met the licensing requirements have been advised to comply before being issued with 2024 license.

Speaking after flagging off distribution of subsidized animal feeds for dairy farmers at Kiaga, the governor said the county will not relent on its effort to weed out illicit alcohol and bars operating without license in the county.

The Council of Governors (COG) said no bar will be allowed to operate without being given a clean bill of health and being issued with the 2024 license.

“For the one that have not met the requirement or have not been licensed, the process will continue, there those who have not met the standard and they have been told what they need to do including the regulation of quality of alcohol that is going to be sold in Kirinyaga,” she said.

The governor further warned bar owners against selling or distributing unauthorized liquor in their outlets saying the County Government will not hesitate from closing down and taking legal action against them.

She reiterated that bar owners have a responsibility to protect lives of their patrons by ensuring they stock authorized brands only.

“They must ensure they are selling products that conform to standards set out by the Kenya Bureau of Standards,” she said.

She said the county has launched campaign dubbed “FichuaPombe Haramu”, an initiative meant to help eradicate manufacture and sale of illicit brew through sharing of information.

“We have introduced a toll-free line 0800721812 and SMS number 0759674392 that you can use to give us information on suspicious cases of illicit alcohol brewing and sale in your area,” the Governor added.

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