The Bar, Hotels, and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) has today extended their gratitude to the Nairobi County Assembly after they were granted a 50% waiver off all liquor licenses.
Speaking during a press briefing chaired by the chairman of the association Mr. Simon Njoroge alongside the Secretary-General Mr. Boniface Gachoka and Mr. James Njoroge Kinyanjui, the chairman of the association Mr. Simon Njoroge acknowledged that the County Assembly of Nairobi had honored their plea following a meeting that was held on 27th January 2022 where they aired their grievances.
Among the grievances that were aired in their previous meeting were; licenses were too high, which included Kshs. 6000 for application, Kshs. 20000 and Kshs. 50000 for liquor licenses after which the members still had to issue a bribe.
The application fee for all new licenses has been reduced from Kshs.6000 to Kshs. 1000 yearly.
However, a complaint that has not been addressed is harassment of their members by the police.
“There is a lot of harassment from the police in most areas and we would like to partner with the police so that our people are not harassed,” said the chairman Mr. Njoroge.
Across the country, the association has 54000 members. Among these, 6800 are registered members in Nairobi County. This reflects to about 6000 unregistered in the county since Nairobi has 12000 bars and premises.
“Since the pandemic, most members were unable to reopen despite being allowed to operate because of loans, areas and relocation. We have lost about 30000 members who have not reopened their business owing to the Covid-19 Pandemic,” continued Mr. Njoroge.
The Secretary-General of BAHLITA, Mr. Boniface Gachoka urged their members in Nairobi County to reciprocate this kind gesture by the Nairobi County Government by ensuring they pay their licenses on time and avoiding any shortcuts during the payments by following all the rules and regulations.
“We are urging other County Assemblies to also reduce the cost of licenses in the other 41 counties that our members are spread out across because the businesses have not yet fully recovered from the financial setbacks brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Gachoka.
He also echoed the complaint of harassment of their members by county police officers even after members had dully paid their licenses.