More arrests for after hours drinkers

January 26, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26  – Fifty five people found drinking alcohol after the recommended hours were arrested in Nairobi on Tuesday night and were expected in court on Wednesday morning.

The revellers were picked up from various bars on Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street and other pubs in downtown Nairobi where they were found drinking after 11 pm.

They were locked up at the Kamukunji and Central Police Stations, according to Nairobi deputy Provincial Police chief Moses Nyakwama.

"The suspects will be arraigned in court today (Wednesday). The police are enforcing the (Alcoholic Drinks Control) laws," Mr Nyakwama said.

"We will not allow people to break the laws with impunity. People must adhere to the laws," he added.

The arrests come after the courts dismissed a case filed by the Murang\’a Bar Owners Association which had opposed  the law imposing restricted drinking hours claiming it was affecting businesses.

The new law sets out hours that people can buy and consume alcohol, and imposes harsh penalties against offenders.

On Wednesday, Lawyer Haron Ndubi filed a constitutional petition at the High Court in Mombasa on behalf of Kizito Mark who says the Mututho rules amount to intrusion an into his privacy.

He argues that the law barring him from drinking before 5pm on weekdays and 2 pm on weekends violates his freedom and discriminates against the majority poor because it excludes members\’ clubs which are a preserve of the rich.

He is also complaining that the law which was drafted by Naivasha MP John Mututho is unfair because it does not apply to the parliamentary canteen where Members of Parliament can enjoy the favourite drink at anytime.

The case was certified urgent by Justice Mohammed Ibrahim and set for hearing on February 2.

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