Bar owners accuse county of deceit during dialogue

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Bar owners in Nairobi have accused Nairobi County of hoodwinking them into a dialogue that was supposed to prevent the closure of bars in residential areas.

The Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) now claims there were ongoing discussions between them and Nairobi County which aborted over unclear circumstances.

Perak National chairman Michael Muthami said the meeting which was being attended by Nairobi Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri on behalf of the county was called after some residents raised complaints over noise pollution.

“As the talks progressed, we received information that the county has reconstituted the Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board,” Muthami stated.

“It is this new board that was supposed to work with us to ensure that all issues that had been raised by the various residents’ associations are reviewed and sorted,” he added.

To their shock, Muthami said Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja ordered all the pubs in residential areas to be closed.

“We find this action to be punitive because all the stakeholders were not involved in the decision to shut down the entertainment joints in the estates,” Muthami said.

Perak argued that the move will not only lead to many job losses but also lead to a reduction in excise duty to the government.

The group said about 400 nightclubs registered in Nairobi employ about 26,000 people earning Sh30,000 per month.