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A law that allows local bars to open early has been criticised by interest groups that claim it is promoting alcoholism.

The clergy, women, youth, people with disabilities, traders, politicians, civil society and trade unions said workers in the county were spending more time in bars instead of working.

Speaking under the umbrella of Embu County Dialogue Reference Group, they criticised the opening time of 2pm that is stipulated in the Embu County Alcoholic Drinks and Control Act, 2015, which is three hours earlier than the national law.

They noted that owing to this early opening time of bars, Embu had become a drinking rather than a working county.

Led by their chairman Bishop Njeru Nyagah, they said owing to the law, too many bars operated locally, thus posing a security risk.

“This early opening of bars has turned some youth to be very lazy and start stealing from their parents to get money for drinking instead of working,” said Bishop Nyagah.

Addressing the media at St Paul ACK Cathedral Hall in Embu town after a conference, they said long opening hours also compromised security.

They called on the executive and the county assembly to work together to ensure the law was harmonised with the national legislation.

Embu County Dialogue Reference Group
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