Kirinyaga County Government has launched a major crackdown on unlicensed liquor outlets and those selling illicit alcoholic drinks.
Over 30 operators in Mwea and Gichugu with unlicensed bars were arrested and their outlets closed down.
County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning Jackline Njogu asked bar owners to cooperate in paying necessary taxes because the county relies on revenue collected from businesses to fund construction and maintenance of roads, provision of health services and drugs, water among others.
She said Governor Anne Waiguru has directed that the county government will close down all unlicensed bars as well as those operating in residential areas adding that the one-year relief that the county government had extended to cushion businesses, including bars, against Covid-19 had expired.
Earlier this year Waiguru had noted that in the last three years, the county government had lost Ksh 100 million from unpaid liquor licenses levies, urging that bar owners must pay up their unpaid levies if they want to continue operating.
Chairman of the County Liquor Licensing Committee James Kihia said the crackdown on bars selling booze without a licence will continue despite resistance from a section some activists
Catherine Gateri, one of the liquor outlet owners said sale of sub-standard booze is on the rise in Kirinyaga and this was affecting the youths with more getting trapped in addition.