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New alcohol laws will lead to unemployment 

Thika West OCPD Willy Simba addressing residents during a public participation meeting. Photo by Sophia Mugambi




A section of bar operators from Thika town have faulted the proposed alcohol regulation bill in Kiambu county saying it will lead to massive laying off of workers in the industry.
The business owners said that the stringent laws are not good for business since they will affect their profitability, leading to workers’ lay-offs.
A bar owner,Ann Michuki, while speaking during a public participation meeting in Thika town Thursday said that the proposed change of the legal drinking age from 18 years to 21will take away a large population of their clients leading to a drop in business.
“Some of the laws are not applicable and if implemented, some percentage of the population would lose jobs and this will lead to a lot of unemployment, thus increasing commercial sex business, since a woman would do anything to provide for her family,” said Michuki.
“Noises from pubs don’t disturb people at their residence since most are located in places away from homes, unlike the churches that hold ‘keshas’ and are at the residential areas. At the end of the day, the one going to the bar and the other one in church, we are all looking for areas to calm our souls,” she explained.
Thika West OCPD Willy Simba said that laws should not be harsh to an extent that they deprive people of security.
“This bill proposes scrapping of  Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), OCPD, AP’s and Chiefs role in dealing with issues about bars and criminal acts regarding alcoholism. This is impossible since the police work is to enforce the law,” said Simba.
The Kiambu county director of alcoholic drinks and enforcement Mike Kangethe pleaded with the national government to amend the age of consumption of alcohol saying schools have been and are adversely affected.
Emma Wanjiru a nominated MCA urged the people to consider the amendments as they would protect the future generation.
“It is important to take care of the young generation that is why persons under the age of 18 should not be permitted to take alcohol, in this way we will preserve the leaders of tomorrow,” Wanjiru said.
She advocated for the passing of the laws saying they will help to restrict the behaviours of the children.
By Maureen Mwangi/Joseph Ng’ang’a

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