Saturday, February 4, 2023 – Over 560,000 Kenyans risk losing jobs following Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s directive to curb illicit liquor and regulate bars across the country.
This was revealed by the Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA), which stated that the sector will equally run into losses amounting to billions of shillings.
Speaking to the press, BAHLITA Secretary General Bonface Gachoka stated that the bars and restaurants affected by the directive stand to lose over Sh7.5 billion.
“Currently, in Kenya, we have 54,000 members countrywide, and going by the figures in the directive by the DP, the central region alone will reduce the businesses by 17,500,” Gachoka stated.
While explaining the extent of losses, Gachoka insisted that 560,000 people employed in the sector risked losing their jobs if the directive to regulate bars, especially in the Mt Kenya region, was effected.
According to him, an estimated 35,000 farmers’ source of livelihood was on the chopping board and over 1,500 distributors would be cut off.
To avert the losses, BAHLITA chairperson Simon Njoroge, therefore, appealed to DP Gachagua to convene a crisis meeting to find a suitable solution.
“Deputy President, we are supporting you in this fight but you are going wrong. Call us at the table,” Njoroge stated.
He revealed that revellers will throng towns even if one bar is approved, as he had earlier indicated.
The association further claimed that the directive coupled with stringent revenue collection terms would spike an influx of counterfeit liquor in the country.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.