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Iconic Starbucks hotel shut down in alcohol crackdown

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Five high-end hotels in Karatina town, Nyeri that had survived the ongoing crackdown on alcoholism were closed on Wednesday, just a day after President William Ruto visited the county and reiterated the government’s resolve to eradicate abuse of alcohol and other substances.

Those affected include Hotel Starbucks, Omega Gardens, Oldoiyo Hotel, The Big Club, and Ibis Hotel. Also closed are Seven Eleven Lounge and Derby Place which are said to be near churches, schools and residential areas.

In the past three weeks, the government has tightened its grip on the sale and consumption of liquor in the constituency, which is Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s backyard with more than 400 bars closed owing to their proximity to learning institutions and churches.

However, Nyeri senator Wahome Wamatinga claimed the State was applying the new regulations meant to curb alcoholism, alleging that Mathira was being discriminated against by some “overzealous” national government administrative officers.

Mr Wamatinga questioned why local administrators had ignored a court order that had allowed the operators to resume business after successfully petitioning the High Court to nullify the government withdrawal of their liquor licences.

“I asked the Nyeri County commissioner why the law is being applied selectively. We know there is a problem of alcoholism and although we support government efforts to find a solution this should be gradual. We can’t just wake up one morning and close all the bars,” he said.

But the Nyeri county commissioner Mr Pius Murugu refuted the allegations of selective application of the law.

-Business Daily

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