Bar owners and patrons could have longer hours to operate and enjoy their favourite tipple if Parliament approves proposals to amend the Control Act.
Among the sweeping changes suggested to the stringent law is provision for "a minimum period of 12 hours during which premises shall be allowed to be open".
The justification to review operational hours is to prevent from collapsing due to high overheads and low returns.
During weekdays bars open at 5pm and close at 11pm.The proposed amendments were formally submitted to Parliament Thursday through a Bill sponsored by Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi.
It is due to be debated in the House after scrutiny by the relevant parliamentary committee.
Another proposed amendment attempts to ease the restriction prohibiting licensing of any premises that are within 300 metres of a institution.
"It is proposed to remove the blanket prohibition and leave the judgement of what is injurious to a learning institution to the discretion of the District Committee," the Bill observes.
The Bill says several premises including high class tourism hotels would have to be closed down if the provisions were to be implemented without due regard to pre-existing investments. Similarly an amendment is proposed to Section 24 to lift the sanction barring children from entering restaurants or other eating establishments where alcoholic are sold.
The justification is that there exist businesses such as clubs, restaurants, parks that are family entertainment spots that sell alcoholic drinks.
"However section 24 of the Act seems to imply that a family cannot have a meal together in such a restaurant if one member of the family is below the age of majority," the Bill reads.
The Bill also proposes to extend the transition period during which old licenses would still be valid.
It suggests the period within nine months from the commencement date be substituted with "on the expiry of 18 months from the date of commencement of this Act".
Another amendment provides for a warning label to cover 30 per cent of the label rather than the package. The justification is that it is impossible to implement the requirement for 30 per cent of the package using current for large volume brands.
Additionally, the Bill seeks to vary the period of compliance with the new packaging requirements from six to 18 months to facilitate the disposal of existing stocks and the acquisition of the new technology, which involves huge capital expenditure.
Also targeted for review is the restriction on promotion so that it only applies at public events where the majority of the audience targeted is underage.
—Stories by David Ochami, Peter Opiyo and Alex Ndegwa