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High-end clubs lose bid to reopen doors

By Kamau Muthoni | Aug 15th 2020 | 3 min read

Kilimani residents can look forward to more quiet nights after the Court of Appeal declined a plea by the owners of four nightclubs to reopen.

The High Court in Nairobi had slammed the doors on four high-end clubs in Kilimani for being a nuisance.

The clubs appealed the decision, saying investments of at least Sh400 million would be going down the drain with the closure, and their employees were losing their livelihoods.

Appeals Court judges Agnes Murgor, Gatembu Kairu and Sankale ole Kantai ruled that owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it would be illogical to grant the orders sought by Explorers Tavern, B-Club Nairobi, Space Lounge & Grill and Kiza Restaurant & Lounge.

“It is well known that Covid-19 hit the world starting in China in or about December 2019, and has affected literally the whole world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. When it did hit Kenya, in or about March 2020, the government, to protect the citizenry, ordered public establishments to close and not be open to the public,” the judges said.

“Considering the facts of the case, the Covid-19 pandemic and even the public interest we are not satisfied that the intended appeal would be rendered moot. For all these reasons, the motion fails and is dismissed.”

Kilimani residents had sued the clubs’ owners, complaining that the loud music from the establishment and the attendant chaos were causing them a lot of anguish and stress, forcing some to spend nights and weekends away from their homes. This, the court heard, started between Wednesday and Sundays.

B-Club (Billions Club) is a franchise that started in Brussels and Dubai. It was launched in Nairobi in 2016 and is said to be owned by Barry Ndengeyingoma, alias Ndengenye, and his wife Samia. The club sits on the first floor of Galana Plaza off Ngong Road.

B-Club, in its court papers, claims that it invested more than Sh150 million, while Explorers Tavern proprietor Antonio Leting and another unnamed person splashed at least Sh50 million on their business.

Spiced up

Kiza, which is managed and co-owned by Joan Gitau alongside Niger national Ali Oumarou Moumouni, is said to have gobbled up Sh200 million, which went towards just spicing up the merrymaking in its VIP section, main lounge, cigar lounge, ballroom and terrace.

Environment Court Judge Loise Kimongoi had ordered the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) on October 17, 2019, to cancel the licences it had issued the clubs. This was after Kilimani residents, through the lobby Kilimani Project Foundation, complained of a breach of their rights to a peaceful, clean and healthy environment as a result of the loud music at night and rowdy revellers.

The clubs said they are willing to abide by any conditions set by the court to ensure they are running, while at the same time keeping the peace with residents. According to the clubs, they were in the process of filing an appeal to challenge the earlier orders asking Nema to cancel their licences. 

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