The Elgeyo Marakwet county government has threatened to shut down bars in Soy North in Kerio valley over non-compliance to Alcoholic drinks regulations.
Governor Alex Tolgos warned that bars, particularly at Emsea and Chepsigot trading centres flouted regulations and were operational 24 Hours threatening the social-economic development of the region.
The bars, according to the Governor were only selling hard drinks and had ruined young people who should have been productive considering the agricultural potential of the region and business opportunities.
“If you want us to help you arrest this problem, raise the matter to us and you will see the difference. There is no way that we can have people camping in drinking dens idling and engaging in alcoholism throughout the day,” said Tolgos while addressing a public baraza in Kapsoo village in Keiyo South.
The owners of the bars in majority of the trading centres across the area were all strangers begging the question why they were scrambling for premises to put up drinking dens alone instead of other decent businesses, noted Mr. Tolgos.
Interestingly, some drunkards in the area were telephoning the Governor at night once inebriated and asking him to help them close down the bars.
“Walevi sehemu hii wananipigia simu usiku kujishtaki na kusema niwasaidie kufunga baa ju pombe imewamaliza na kuwafanya kuwa fukara. Wacha niwaibie siri leo, Kama hamtaki pombe ama hiyo tabia ya vijana kulewa katika vituo vya biashara kwenu, jaribu kushika tu matawi na iwapo nitapata fununu kwamba raia wanataka kuandamana dhidi ya pombe, nitafika mara moja na mtaona tukifunga baa zote,”
Meaning: “Let me give you a secret today, if alcoholism has become nuisance in your neighbourhood and you want us to help you to bring it to an end, just plan to stage a public protest and the moment I get wind of the protest, you will see us swing into action even before you do it, “said the Governor amid applauses from the crowd.
The Governor challenged unemployed youth in the area to form groups and register companies through which they could apply for business tenders, promising that his government would give them priority.
“This is one of the ways you can transform yourselves economically and redeem yourselves from poverty instead of engaging in alcoholism,” advised Tolgos.
The Governor who was on sensitization baraza about soil conservation in the region was accompanied by his deputy Wisely Rotich, Agriculture Executive Shadrack Yatich among other county officials.