Embu governor Martin Wambora rejected the contentious alcoholic drinks control Bill that would have allowed consumption of liquor from as early as 3pm daily.
The bill had been supported by majority of assembly MCAs known to enjoy hot drinks before going to the assembly debates, to gain courage.
Wambora refused to assent to the proposed law and sent it back to the county assembly with a memorandum citing the clauses that he wants amended. Wambora’s decision means, MCAs who had voted and passed the Bill will study again the controversial law that caused public uproar with many demanding for its review.
Assembly speaker Josiah Thiriku found himself in trouble with residents over the bill. The Bill is unpopular due to its bid to have official hours for opening bars revised from 5pm to 11pm during official working days and 2pm on weekends and public holidays.
Another issue is abolition of the 24-hour alcohol sale licence for restaurants and hotels. Initially, the law permitted drinking of alcohol at any hour of day or night as long as the drinker had also ordered food at the venue before indulging in liquor consumption.
For now, the ball is in the hands of county assembly trade, tourism, investment and industrialisation committee chaired by Morris Muchiri, MCA for Kirimari ward to streamline the bill.
Majority of MCAs many of them well known drunkards supported early drinking hours despite public outcry.