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Police, County officials to sustain crackdown on Nairobi estate bars

Dagoretti Police boss Rashid Mohammed seen in this photograph engaging the club’s security official following complaints from Apple Cross Residents Association. Photo/FRANCIS MBATHA.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Authorities have vowed to close mushrooming bars in up market estates in Nairobi following complaints by residents, mainly in Lavington, Kileleshwa, Muthangari, Kilimani among others.

The County Government of Nairobi had launched a crackdown on bars operating in the estates in December last year, and even closed some but many of them seem to have re-opened.

In Lavington, complaints from Apple Cross Residents Association led to the revocation of Nairobi County Government licenses issued to 51 Lounge that was denying them the ambience expected in an affluent neighborhood.

The bar had continued to operate despite cancellations of its licenses, prompting Saturday’s intervention of Dagoretti Police boss Rashid Mohammed.

“The bar will remain closed until they move to the County Government to seek fresh licenses or they move to court,” he said of the bar that had defied directives to close down.
There were no operations at the bar on Saturday.

“Since the club opened its doors about three months ago, we have had to contend with serious and illegal inconveniences, including loud music throughout the night,” one resident told Capital FM News.
Area residents had petition the County Government and the city’s Regional Command to shut it down due to loud music and disturbances by patrons whom they accused of even engaging in illicit behaviours.

“There is the constitution of this land that supersedes the bylaws…the law must be respected,” the police chief said and warned of legal action against operators if they flout the directive.

The residents said their once quiet neighbourhood had been turned into a parking yard for patrons, while others said the establishment was attracting commercial sex workers.

“We have also been forced to witness illicit sex scenes of patrons having sex in their cars and our children having to hop over used condoms on their way to school in the morning. We are not surprised that security street lights no longer works lately,” one resident said, preferring not to be named.

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On Thursday, the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control Board intervened after the residents complained that the high end club had become a security threat to their neighbourhood.

“The county government hereby revokes your single business permit BID number 1413074 and liquor license number 07785 for the year 2016/2017 as provided for under the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Act 2014, “read part of the letter.

The letter signed by Chief Officer, Commerce, Tourism and Co-operative and Security County Liquor Board Engineer Judah Abekah directed the club owners to cease operations immediately.

“You are therefore, ordered to cease operations immediately until you adhere to the noise level directives , failure to comply the County will take appropriate action without further reference to you and will not be liable for any loss or damage caused.”

Last week, residents had confronted patrons at the bar, leading to a shouting match as they demanded its closure over inconveniences caused whenever the patrons park on their manicured lawns and on the driveways, leading to daily confrontations.

Similar complaints have been raised in Buru Buru, Kasarani, Westlands, Ngong Road among other city estates where clubs are mushrooming—some with no licenses.

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