Confusion Over Bar Closure Time As Ministry, Police Clash Following Curfew Lift
CitizenOct 21, 2021
Despite issuing an order to vacate the dusk-to-dawn curfew during his Mashujaa Day address, President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to give specifics on other existing restrictions like bar closures.
This has thrown Kenyans into a state of confusion over whether they’re still expected to be out of their favorite bars by 7pm as it was before, or if the entertainment spots can now operate overnight.
The situation has even been worsened by contradicting statements issued by two government entities at the center of the matter; the Ministry of Tourism and the National Police Service (NPS).
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Wednesday evening reportedly toldThe Starthat the curfew lift effectively means the restriction on bars and restaurants was also vacated immediately.
“All hospitality facilities are back to normal with Ministry of Health Protocols,” he stated.
The publication further stated that Balala’s statement was reiterated by his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe who, when questioned, said the establishments “are free” to resume their normal operations pre-Covid era.
However, NPS, in a statement issued later the same evening, stated that the 7pm closure of bars remains very much in place despite the curfew lift by President Kenyatta.
“Following the vacation of the COVID associated curfew by the President during Mashujaa Day speech, existing measures on closure of bars by 7.00pm remain in place for now. Enforcement of violation of this measure to continue,” said the police.
Kenyans, including bar owners, are now conflicted over which direction to follow so as to avoid stepping on the bad side of the law.
Health CS Kagwe is however set to address a press conference on the status of COVID-19 in the country on Thursday afternoon, during which he is expected to give a unified direction on the matter.