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Alarm as students spotted buying beer in Embu bus parks

 Drivers in Embu town have called for immediate closure of bars, wines and spirits shops inside the bus parks claiming that they are selling alcohol to minors especially when schools close.

Embu Bus Park where underage drunk users buy alcohol aided by touts. Photo/BRIAN MUSYOKA

This is after some students were spotted by the bus park attendants entering the bars and beer shops as they waited to board matatu to their various destinations after schools’ closure.

A resident identified as Simon Muturi who was waiting for a matatu in Nairobi bus park in Embu town said he saw several students entering the outlets and upon peeping through the door, they purchased alcohol and hid it in their school bags.

''I was heartbroken by that act. Students entering the bar and buying beer. Really, that is the future we are looking for?'' asked Mr Muturi.

The angry drivers said the mushrooming bars, wine and spirit shops in the bus parks had given them a hard time to operate and put their work at risk as some were being tempted to drink because the alcohol was near them.

Kimathi Nyaga, a driver said that students often send drivers to buy them alcohol from those joints for fear of being seen.

"I will be happy if the entertainment joints in this bus park are moved to other areas. Students are taking beer especially when they close schools. We are also tempted and we find ourselves taking beer at wrong hours. Please, we plead with the government to act decisively on this matter," said Nyaga.

No discipline

Nyaga cited that the increased alcohol outlets had also caused indiscipline within stages as passengers are being mishandled by some drunk bus park attendants.

Murithi Njeru, a driver, also blamed the government for “closing eyes” on a matter that had caused public uproar.

He said the owners of the entertainment joints should immediately be ordered to relocate them to other areas where they will not risk the lives of students and drivers while driving the vehicles.

''The students are using all possible tricks to purchase liquor including sending adults, especially touts, into the outlets at a cost to buy alcohol that is disguised as soft drinks by mixing it with sodas,'' said Njeru.

The cries of the drivers have been backed up by management of different Saccos who blamed the County Government of Embu for licensing entertainment joints to operate in bus parks.

Patrick Warui, KETNNO Sacco Chairman said those bars and beer shops were sources of some accidents as some drivers would go behind the bars and drink before driving.

He said as a, Sacco they had introduced impromptu alcohol tests along the roads to nab drivers driving while drunk.

“We have severally petitioned the county government which is the licensing authority to look into this matter but all in vain. They have been dilly-dallying on the issue as alcohol outlets keep mushrooming in bus parks,” Warui complained.

 Justus Ngiavi the Sacco's secretary said that due to the notorious increase of liquor outlets in Embu bus parks as a Sacco they imposed tough penalties for their drivers found drunk.

The penalties include six-month suspension from work, revocation of driver's driving license and dismissal of those who repeat the unlawful cases. 

Some outlets are said to be 'untouchable' as the owners are friends to bigwings in administration within the county.


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