Sakaja changes tune on noisy bars, nightclubs

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja responds to audit queries when he appeared before the Senate County Public Accountants Committee on July 24, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has issued a directive to county enforcement officers, instructing them not to harass nightclub and bar owners during nighttime hours.

However, Sakaja clarified that the county government will uphold the laws pertaining to the sale of liquor and the operation of bars and nightclubs. This enforcement will be carried out in a manner that achieves the intended objectives without causing harassment.

"The goal is not served by conducting raids on clubs, arresting DJs, seizing equipment, and causing clients to scatter. Our objective is to ensure proprietors adhere to the law," said the governor.

He further emphasised, "Enforcement officers should enter the premises in question, measure the decibel levels, gather all necessary evidence, issue an enforcement notice, and then depart. Subsequently, they should return the following day during daylight hours to take appropriate action." The governor was speaking at a cabinet meeting.

The county executive has endorsed the zoning of specific areas where licences for nightclubs can be granted. These areas encompass the city centre, Westlands, Industrial Area, portions of Ngara and Pangani, various locations in Eastlands, the corridors along Mombasa Road and Thika Highway, as well as shopping malls. The pronouncement by Sakaja has garnered positive reception from bar owners, who have expressed appreciation.