The Star (Nairobi)

25 January 2013

Kenya: 50 Meru Traders Cry Foul Over Bar Licences

About 50 bar owners in Imenti South have protested over the government's move not to renew their licences. Led by Faith Kananu, the traders said they have met all the requirements and wondered why their have been denied licence.

Speaking in Nkubu town, they said if the decision is not rescinded, they will make huge losses because they have paid annual rent, renovated the premises and bought stock.

They accused the provincial administration of demanding huge bribes before licensing their businesses. "We are now appealing to the government to reconsider its stand and give us licences so that we do not incur unnecessary losses. We have met all the requirements," Kananu said.

They said the move to deny them licences may force some of them to engage in crime, prostitution and other vices, to earn a livelihood. DC Dominic Kyenza said the government licensed 95 bars which met the stipulated standards.

He said the 50 bars were disqualified because of poor infrastructure and failing to meet health and security standards. He said some are near learning institution.

He said new applicants and those who wanted to renew their licences were vetted . "Those who were disqualified have been given two weeks to sell their stock before closing down," the DC said. He said he will ensure all the laws are adhered to.

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