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Reactions as Nairobi county bans clubs in estates, issues directives to bars

Nairobi County revoked licenses of night clubs outside CBD and issued new directives to bars on November25, 2022

File image of Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja

Kenyans have reacted to Nairobi governor, Johnson Sakaja’s decision to ban from operating in residential areas, along with three other directives that were issued by the county government on Friday, November 25.

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According to the directive issued by the county government, no night club licenses would be issued or renewed for establishments outside the city centre with those issued to nightclubs outside the city centre revoked with immediate effect.

"Henceforth, nightclub licenses will be issued to premises only within the Central Business District and specified streets in other non-residential areas. Those already issued are hereby cancelled, and the establishments may continue operating as bars and restaurants only.

“Bars and restaurants in residential areas must operate within the specified time and control noise emanating from their premises. Specifically, playing of music must stop by 10pm.” Read the directive in part.

With a touch of humor, one user going by the moniker MC Oriare opined that moving night clubs to CBD takes revelers further away from home and leaves them with two options noting:

“Good move...watu wakunywe pombe mbali ndio tupate time ya kuwapiga ngeta wakirudi kwa nyumba....wacha pombe ama upigwe ngeta choice is yours”.

Some reminded Sakaja of his own experience when he was arrested in a bar in the wee hours of a Sunday morning for flouting Covid-19 pandemic rules in 2020, noting that the implications of the directive could be similar to a curfew.

Kennedy Mc Oloto stated that “Heri useme there is curfew in Nairobi starting 10pm.”

Some hailed the move, opining that it is key in restoring sanity in Nairobi estates where nightclubs and bars had taken over, playing loud music late into the night and inconveniencing residents.

“I have never understood why some of these establishments set up in residential areas have to play loud music on weekends until 4 am and yet there are some people trying to sleep tens of meters away! Very inconsiderate. Kudos for this my Governor!” Noted one Simon Muiga.

A section of netizens urged the governor to go a step further and focus on places of worship in residential areas, claiming that they too inconvenience city residents.

Others noted that the move will lead to job losses for many at a time when the cost of living is already high with an equally high rate of unemployment.

“What if you order a mandatory Sound proof upgrade to those clubs, think of the waiters, bouncers, cleaners, DJs etc, they will all be rendered jobless ,some are breadwinners back at home.” Noted one Stephen Chege.

“Now Governor you are moving on the wrong direction. Closing already established business with the struggling economy, is an insult to the economy.” Added Amos Gachunga.

Muthony Wangari noted that with the stroke of a pen, many had been rendered jobless writing: “And that's how hundreds of people are going to lose their Jobs, Lord have mercy on your people, it's enough struggle already”.

The decisive action follows multiple complaints from city dwellers on rogue nigh clubs and bar owners flouting rules and regulations and inconveniencing residents.

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