Kenya: Liquor Outlets in Embakasi Face Imminent Closure as Owners Struggle to Appease Extortionist Cops

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Nairobi — Owners of bars and liquor outlets in Embakasi area are now lamenting over increased police extortion saying the trend is now threatening to cripple the businesses.

Becky Chebet, a bar owner in Embakasi South constituency, told Capital News on Wednesday that the police had made it a norm to collect monies ranging from Sh50 to Sh200 on a daily basis, whether they have made a sale or not.

Chebet said police drawn from different stations storm their premises daily, just to collect the money.

“It has become difficult to run this business, they come anytime of the day, even weekdays when the bar is half empty or when a sale is barely made, and you have to give them or you find yourself in trouble,” she said.

To make matters worse, Chebet said several officers take turns demanding the collection.

She said if one fails to remit the daily collection, police officers always find a reason to arrest the attendant or confiscate bar items and stock including drinks.

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Chebet said that some officers would understand if you tell them to “wait for tomorrow” but there are those who insist of being given “their share”.

“I am a victim, recently they took my KEG pump because I didn’t have the Sh50 bribe,” she said.

She said operators go through all this despite having paid all the necessary licenses to run the business, a situation that has had many outlets left with no option but to close down since the businesses are no longer profitable.