Bar operators yet to receive COVID-19 cushioning funds

Bar operators say they have not yet received funds allocated by President Kenyatta to cushion them during the COVID-19 pandemic./COURTESY

Bar operators re yet to receive the COVID-19 cushioning funds allocated for them in 2020.

According to Bar, Hotel and Liquor Traders’ Association, its members have not received four billion shillings which was allocated to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year to cushion the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a media briefing in Nairobi the Secretary General of the association Boniface Gachoka said that it is unfortunate that their members have not yet benefited from the kitty which was meant to cushion the sector.

He pointed out that 70 percent of their members are sparingly operating and 30 percent have completely closed their businesses due to the pandemic.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta allocated four billion last year to the ministry of tourism, we are urging our excellency Najib Balala to ensure that our members are able to access these funds otherwise so far our 54,000 embers have never been able to access these funds because of the terms and conditions that were put,” Gachoka said

The SG also urged the government to increase the funds as one way of revamping that sector which has been worst hit by the effects of the pandemic.

“Our industry has been affected so much, in terms of finances, actually we need 14 billion worth of finances,” Gachoka said.

The association urged the government to extend hours of operating their businesses to 9pm in order to help them do business which will ultimately enable them pay their overheads.

Consequently, they urged the government to include them among frontline groups that will benefit from the vaccine.