The Bar, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) has attributed the impact of Covid-19 to the increase in the number of people found to be under the influence of drugs (“mchele”) before they are scammed.
They said spirits are a luxury many Kenyans avoided at the height of the pandemic, but now they can buy it and some drinkers are over-drinking.
But action has been taken to stop Mchele – to contain cases, said BAHLITA Secretary General Boniface Gachoka.
“We have written to George Kinoti, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to provide a team of officers who will assist in this to [eliminate] this booming business.”
He said BAHLITA would work with the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya to identify chemists selling the drugs to people involved in the Mchele business.
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Daniel Ouma, the chairman of BAHLITA’s Kisumu branch, pointed to the need to eradicate Mchele in bars , and said they asked Bar ow staff to install surveillance cameras and educate waiters, managers and bouncers on first aid supplies.
“Once a customer has been determined to be drowsy or drowsy, they should be the first to be woken unresponsive, administer first aid,” he advised.
Follow the suspect
“If the person responsible for [lacing] the drink be identified If you can, contact the police and suspect the case, if not, post them on social media platforms.”
The drugs are mainly used during surgeries as anesthetics and to treat psychosis. High doses can cause death, permanent amnesia, and drowsiness that can last for days.
For the past two weeks, men across social media platforms have been lamenting the use of mchele, with some revealing that they had lost their property and money.
The BAHLITA, led by its chairman Simon Njoroge, addressed issues affecting bar owners and complained about proposed increases in the excise duty on beer and spirits, saying that it there would be an increase if the taxes were adopted in the illicit alcohol trade as Kenyans would start smuggling cheap products from other markets.
The National Treasury Proposes in the Finance Act 2022 to change the excise duty to alcoholic beverages to increase the following rates: beer, 10 percent; spirits 20 percent; Glass bottles, new excise duty of 25 percent. She also wants a 15 percent increase in advertising fees for alcohol products.
Also read: “Mchele” Gang: Using Bhajia and “Desperado”, a Nairobi Woman Cheated Me Out of Sh200,000< /strong>
“The government should be aware of the current difficult economic times Kenyans are going through and not continue to burden them with tough laws that risk putting thousands of Kenyans out of work. The proposed excise duty will not only affect producers and farmers, but also businesses and consumers,” said Njoroge.
He claimed that 250,000 people working in bars and hotels lost their jobs during the Covid period and there are only 15,000 Mr Njoroge, who is currently employed, warned the government that this number would fall if it passed the tax increase bill.
Barley and sorghum
< p>“Beer is a major consumer of barley and sorghum. As beer volumes drop, farmers will be forced to slow down production and lose their livelihoods.”
On reducing noise pollution from entertainment zones, Mr Njoroge said they encourage the creation of WhatsApp groups, where bar owners are represented and neighbors can voice their grievances.
On alleged racism in some clubs, with the recent incident involving Alchemist in Westlands, Nairobi, BAHLITA condemned such behavior and commended the Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu’s decision to close it and the claims are being investigated.