Johnson Sakaja, the governor of Nairobi, has reaffirmed that he will continue to crack down on the city's nightclubs.
In response to a report that Nairobi County Assembly members had asked Sakaja to revoke the order closing nightclubs issued last month, Sakaja stated on Saturday that there is no going back on the decision.
“There will be sanity in our neighbourhoods. There’s no turning back from that,” tweeted the county boss.
In response to a public outcry about noise pollution, Governor Sakaja revoked nightclub permits operating in residential zones on November 25.
The directive from Sakaja "was not explicit and it is affecting all the night clubs, even those that are compliant," according to the city's MPs on Friday.
Members of the County Assembly, acting on a petition from the Kenyan Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurant Association, endorsed the report presented on Thursday by the Sectoral Committee on Culture and Community Services (PERAK).
MCA Kileleshwa Robert Alai, who started the process of closing the nightclubs in neighborhoods, disagreed with the lawmakers' instruction.
"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.
The decree by Governor Sakaja was criticized by PERAK as being arbitrary and disregarding the fact that the same county administration had granted the enterprises' licenses to operate as nightclubs.
Only 400 of Nairobi's 12,000 licensed bars are permitted to open at night, according to the organization, but the broad order has given county enforcement agents and police officers the means to mercilessly execute the law.
It claimed that Sakaja's action had endangered the livelihoods of about 60,000 workers in the industry, which brings in Ksh. 21 billion annually.
The owners also claimed that there were ambiguous regions in the city's zoning that made it difficult to distinguish between residential and commercial zones.
The MCAs instructed the county government and national police enforcement personnel to immediately stop enforcing the order pending its explanation.
They also recommended that PERAK, residents' associations, and the county government hold a joint discussion within a month to develop a framework for the operation of nightclubs and restaurants within residential areas. They further called for a review of the license that has been revoked for the nightclubs that are compliant.
In addition, PERAK has been granted six to twelve months by the MCAs to make sure that all the bars and eateries in residential areas are soundproof.
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