Mombasa bar owners have welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to reopen bars after seven months closure to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
Addressing journalists in Mombasa, Mombasa Bar owners association Secretary Kennedy Mumbo appreciated the decision saying the businesses employ millions of Kenyans from suppliers, to land lords, DJs, Music Producers among others.
Mumbo said the reopening came at a good time to prepare for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s season adding that many families had lost livelihoods from closure of bars.
He said the business does not only entertain drinkers but hugely impacts the country’s economy.
Mumbo however appealed to the President to consider giving them recovery incentives including soft loans following the impact the sector has suffered.
“Bigger percentage will not resume business since they hire shops and run businesses on loans and in our approximation, only 20 percent will resume the bar business and we call on the government to come to our aid,” he said.
Mumbo appealed to the government to consider extending the opening hours from the said 10pm to midnight so as to make up for the lost business time due to set guidelines by the Health Ministry to counter the spread of COVID-19.
The Secretary on behalf of the bar owners vowed to comply to the new directives so as to remain operational calling on the government not to pressure them so much instead bear with them as they strive to gain back their footing.
Caleb Mwangi a young bar owner in Mombasa sympathised with the workers who lost their jobs and bar owners who lost stock that expired calling on the government to support them.
[Sky lounge bar in Bamburi reopens. Photo/ Ahmed Omar].
“We have been out of business for six months and some goods have expired. We urge KEBS to conduct inspection of drinks and food items to ascertain if they are still usable.” said Mwangi
He added that equipment like fridges, TVs, speakers and other machines have spoilt from rust and rat attacks, including crates of beer.
He reiterated for government to intervene since they do not know how they will ever recover.