In a statement sent to newsrooms last night, Kidero said he will allow ‘controlled alcohol consumption’ having only hours earlier declared there would be no partaking of the intoxicant at the opening Safaricom Sevens Series event at Nairobi’s Railways Club.
“The Nairobi City County Government has specifically directed that any alcohol consumption will be undertaken in the specific and controlled areas and as provided for in the Liquor Licensing Act and provision and there shall be no sale of alcohol to minors, family areas and after 6 pm,” Kidero said.
The letter also clarified that the Governor’s directive was to protect the young lovers of Rugby and called for stakeholders to separate sports and alcohol.
The Nairobi Governor assured rugby enthusiasts that his Government has deployed reinforcement officers to ensure anyone acting in contrary of the directive will be dealt with in accordance to the law.
“We are ubiquitous to the fact that excess consumption of alcohol results in significant morbidity and mortality, increases violence, crime and road traffic crashes, has major consequences for individuals, families and communities and impacts negatively on the economy, read the statement from the Office of the Nairobi County Governor
Kidero had an hour earlier addressed a news conference where he stressed there would be no repeat of the debauchery that took place at the Masaku 7s event on the weekend of June 29 to 31 where shocking photos and videos of amorous behaviour by intoxicated fans/revellers surfaced online and went viral although some were later proven to have ripped from the internet.
“What happened in Machakos…we don’t want a repeat of that in Nairobi and that is why we are making sure by 6pm the pitch is empty,” he said.
“People will be checked, no alcohol will be allowed in the park…we will have Alcoblow in and around the pitch and indecent behaviour will not be allowed.”
The raunchy incidents and the brazen display of moral decadency fuelled by abuse of alcohol and other intoxicants ignited furious debate with the use of sporting events as an excuse to engage in depravity came to the fore.
Without mincing words, the tough-talking Governor added at the briefing: “No one will be allowed to drink alcohol in their cars. We know consumption of alcohol make people lose their senses.”
“The gates will be opened at 6am and be closed by 6pm…there will be no late evening activities. Sports being a family event, we will ensure that family values are not violated, sense of decency, decorum is maintained by the people who will be on the match on that day.”
Immediately after his proclamation, the Governor was trending on social media with most admonishing him for the directive with Twitter users venting their spleen with the #ThingsKideroHasDoneForNairobi hash tag.
Some of the hilarious posts said the Governor had ‘banned Twitter in Nairobi’ ‘banned slapping of Manzi wa Nairobi (Nairobi’s girl) in reference to his tiff with Nairobi Women’s Representative, Ms Rachel Shebesh and “beautifying round abouts and junctions with neon counting lights to help class one algebra.”
Over 10,000 spectators are expected to grace the latest leg in the domestic rugby 7s series that has surged in popularity.
KRU boss Mwangi Muthee had welcomed the directive saying it will help maintain the required standards if the country will ever host an international events with the country targeting to host a leg of the annual HSBC World Series.
“We would like all the supporters to also be responsible so that we can maintain high standards,” he appealed.
“We cannot just allow a few individuals to destroy what it has taken so many people, so long and many resources be derailed by a couple of individuals stealing the show with their ambush operations.”
To enforce order, Kidero has deployed tight security with the County Inspectorate and organisers ordered not to allow any alcoholic beverages inside the grounds.
Mwamba ready to rock
Meanwhile, newly appointed Mwamba RFC head coach John Mbai will be seeking to restore the club’s pride when he takes charge in his first competitive assignment at Kabeberi 7s.
Mwamba, the host club have been drawn in a tricky Pool C against Strathmore, Nondescript and Eldoret as they bid to reclaim the title they last won in 2009.
Defending champions Homeboyz headline Pool D alongside Impala, Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad and Kabras while series holders KCB take on Western Bulls, Kisumu and Catholic University in a relatively easy Pool A.
Kenya Harlequins are also drawn in tricky pool B, where they will battle it out with Kenya Cup champions Nakuru RFC, Daystar University and Nairobi University’s Mean Machine.
Kabeberi 7s is the opener of Safaricom 7s series before the circuit heads to Kisumu for Dala sevens, Mombasa’s Driftwood, Nakuru’s Prinsloo, Nairobi’s Christie and finally culminating with Safaricom international sevens September 26-28 in Nairobi.
The tournament named in memory of former player George Mwangi Kabeberi who died in 1986 will also see the club remember their fallen heroes including Leeroy Okana, Absalom Mutere, Jimmy Owino and former Lioness captain Aberdeen Shikoyi who died in 2012.
-By Joseph Muraya and Alex Isaboke