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Bar owners welcome waiver on operating licenses

Bar and hotel owners in Nairobi have a reason to smile now after County slashed operating licenses by half.

The Bar, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BHALITA) has said the move will boost back their business citing.

They said that the initial rates were exorbitant and has seen hundreds of their businesses close down.

Simon Njoroge, the group’s chairman said the association held a meeting with the County and City Directorate over the matter on January 27.

“The meeting was also attended by Chairman of Liquor Committee in the County Assembly and one of the pressing issues was the cost of operating licenses,” Njoroge said.

He said, the operators were initially required to pay close to Sh100,000 including bribes in some offices so that they can be allowed to run their trade.

“We used to pay Sh6,000 for application, Sh20,000 whose purpose was unclear and Sh50,000 for the license. Afterwards we were also supposed to give Sh5,000 to the person issuing the license,” Njoroge stated.

However, after the meeting, he said that the county has now agreed to reduce the charges by half the initial amount.

“Those who were paying Sh50,000 will now pay Sh25,000 this year, while the Sh6,000 annual fee was slashed to Sh1,000 but new members will continue paying the same amount,” he added.

The chairman said the association has 54,000 registered members across the country and in Nairobi alone there are about 13,000 members running bars and hotels.

“Our members are still recovering from the effects of covid-19 and the move to slash the operating licenses is relief to them,” he said.

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