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Bar owners look up to Uhuru’s verdict

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[Mombasa Businessman Patrick Kabundu. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

Mombasa County bar and pub operators are calling on the government to be allowed to resume operations promising to take precautionary measures to keep safe from Coronavirus.

The operators under Bars, hotels and liquor traders association of Kenya said they are prepared to work safely and safeguard their customers form the disease.

Led by the association Secretary Kennedy Mumbo they said they have been out of business for the past four months due to the coronavirus lockdown urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to ease the country’s lockdown measures.

He said as the government contemplates slowly reopening the economy, bars and pubs businesses which were hard hit by the coronavirus should not be forgotten.

Mumbo said the pandemic has thrown their trade into disarray and thus operators are unable to pay rents for their business premises.

He said many employees have been rendered jobless and cannot fend for themselves and their families.

“We are prepared to follow all health protocols designed to keep employees and customers safe,” he said adding that they are tired of living in uncertainties.

Guidelines

At the same time Mumbo said the government should give a clear guideline on how operators will access the economic stimulus package towards the hospitality industry.

He said the stimulus package should benefit stakeholders in the industry from the big hotels to the small bars, wines and spirits and liquor stores.

Patrick Kabundu, a prominent bar owner in the Coastal city, said the government should allow them to restart operations promising that they will act responsibly.

He said they should be allowed to resume operations given that many bars were already struggling even before the covid-19 outbreak, in the face of rising rents and falling consumer spending.

“Our sector was one of the first to be seriously affected by the pandemic and we should not be one of the last to reopen” he said.

Dorcas Kithoka, a barmaid said the government should speed up reopening of pubs to allow them to go back to work and put food on the table.