KENYA – Mombasa will for the first time collect liquor licensing fees estimated at more than Sh100 million after the County Assembly passed the Liquor Bill last month.
Last year, the county was unable to collect millions of shillings from liquor licensing due to lack of a legislative framework.
Before the liquor licensing function was devolved to the county governments, the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) used to collect the fees.
The assembly passed the Mombasa County Liquor Licensing Bill 2014 in December last year.
Tourism executive Tumbo Odhiambo Thursday said Governor Hassan Joho is expected to assent to the approved Bill to pave the way for the county to start collecting the fees.
He said the county will establish a directorate of liquor control to enforce the provisions of the Act.
The directorate, he added, would also oversee the issuance of licences to bars, nightclubs, discotheques and hotels. Mr Tumbo said currently the county has more than 1,000 bars with more than 500 being new outlets to be licensed this year.
The county also has 70 hotels and 15 nightclubs.
The previous annual fees were Sh50,000 for bars, Sh100,000 for nightclubs and discotheques while hotels paid Sh80,000.
“The county last year was unable to collect the fees as there was no law in place. But since the assembly passed the liquor bill, we are targeting to collect more than Sh100 million from licenses this year,” he said.
Mr Tumbo said upon establishing the directorate of liquor control, the county would hold a consultative meeting to inform stakeholders about the new laws.
“We will tell liquor sellers when to apply for the licences and where they are supposed to pay the fees.”
Mr Tumbo said the county would soon start licensing bars, nightclubs, discotheques and hotels, giving holders of the older licences priority.
The new bars, he added, would be vetted to ensure that they meet the liquor licensing regulations.
He said the liquor inspectorate would monitor the outlets to ensure they adhere to hygiene as well as crack down on sale of counterfeit alcohol.