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‘No turning back,’ Sakaja says amid row with Nairobi MCAs over night clubs ban.


Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has reiterated that he will not relent in the crackdown on city night clubs.Responding to an article on Nairobi County Assembly members directing him to lift the order on the closure of night clubs issued last month, Sakaja on Saturday said there is no turning back on the directive.

“There will be sanity in our neighbourhoods. There’s no turning back from that,” tweeted the county boss.

 

Governor Sakaja on November 25 cancelled licenses for night clubs operating in residential areas following public uproar over noise pollution.On Friday, the city’s lawmakers said Sakaja’s order “was not clear and it is affecting all the night clubs, even those that are compliant.”

 

Members of the County Assembly adopted the report tabled on Thursday by the Sectoral Committee on Culture and Community Services acting on a petition by the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK).Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai, who initiated the process of closing the entertainment joints in neighbourhoods also opposed the directive from fellow legistlators

“The report is shallow and in conflict with existing laws. We are not relenting. Family space will be protected and I am so proud of governor Sakaja Johnson for standing strong against intimidation and blackmail. It was sneaked-in but know that we won’t give up,” Alai wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

 

PERAK had complained that the order by Governor Sakaja was indiscriminate and disregarded the fact that the same county government had issued the licences for the businesses to operate as nightclubs.The association said that while only 400 of Nairobi’s 12,000 licensed bars are licensed to operate at night, the blanket order had given county enforcement officers police officers the wherewithal to ruthlessly enforce the order.

 

Sakaja’s move, it argued, had put at risk the income of about 60,000 workers in the sector that generates income of Ksh.21 billion per year.The owners also argued that there are grey areas in the planning of the city that have blurred the lines between commercial and residential areas.

The MCAs directed the enforcement officers from the County Government and the national police to immediately cease to enforce the order pending its clarification.

 

They further called for a review of the revoked license for the night clubs that are compliant, and also recommended that PERAK, residents’ associations and the county government hold ajoint discussion within a month to come up with a framework for the operation of night clubs and restaurants within residential areas.

 

Additionally, the MCAs have given PERAK six to 12 months to ensure that all the night clubs and restaurants within residential areas are soundproof.

 

Article By Suzy Nyongesa.

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