The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Tourism Players Want to Be Consulted On Mututho Law

STAKEHOLDERS in the tourism and entertainment industry want to be consulted in the ongoing amendments to the Alcoholics Drink Control Act arguing that the industry has been the most affected by the existing law.

Under the umbrella bodies of Kenya Tourism Federation and Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya, the industry wants MPs to carefully consider their recommendations before passing the Alcoholics Drinks Control Bill 2012. The Bill is set for debate in parliament this week.

The Bill seeks to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010 by outlawing sale of alcohol two days prior to the general elections and promotion of alcoholic drinks in a manner that seeks to encourage consumption among other things.

The group noted that sections of the existing law are punitive to the industry without necessarily dealing effectively with the abuse of alcohol and loss of life which is what it was intended to do.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers noted that some sections of the law were almost impractical without causing a hotel to eliminate some of its leisure and entertainment services.

The industry players said the law had eroded the allure of the coast region which is popular among most tourists not only as a beach destination but for its vibrant night life due to entertainment spots.

But Naivasha MP John Mutotho, who is pushing for the amendments, said tourists do not visit Kenya to drink alcohol.

"We are all aware that tourist visits the beautiful parks we have in the country...they do not come here to drink. In fact the law is clear that resident people in the hotels can drink for 24 hours," he said.

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