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More bad news for Kiza, B-Club and Space Lounge

Four popular night clubs in Nairobi’s upmarket area of Kilimani will remain closed after a court dismissed their requests to reopen pending the hearing and determination of an appeal that is challenging revocation of their licenses.

The four, Kiza lounge, B Club, Space Lounge and Grill and Explorer Tavern, were shut in November last year through a court order after residents of the neighbourhood complained of noise and disturbance.

But owners of the businesses sought to reopen on grounds that if closure notices issued against them are effected, they stood to lose investments of more than Sh400 million.

On top of the financial losses, the court was told that at least 120 people will be rendered jobless and as a result, livelihoods will be affected.

The entertainment joints had filed separate applications urging the Environment and Lands Court to suspend the implementation of an order that required the City government to revoke their permits and liquor licenses.

The suspension of the order dated October 17, 2019, would have allowed them to continue operating pending the filing, hearing and determination of the intended appeal.

Kiza Lounge managing director Ali Oumarou.
PHOTO | FILE

Mr Barry Ndengeyingoma, managing director and co-proprietor of B Club, Mr Antonio Leting (Explorer Tavern), James Kungu Kariuki (Space Lounge and Gril) and Judy Gitau (Kiza lounge) in their affidavits restated that they will suffer substantial loss of investments.

But Justice Loice Komingoi noted that the clubs are situated in a residential area and so granting the orders sought would be to the detriment of residents of the affluent estate.

On the issue of the businesses suffering the loss of their investments, the judge said none of the traders demonstrated by way of documents what and how the loses would have occurred.

“The issue of substantial loss is a matter of fact. Each of the applicants ought to have demonstrated substantial loss by way of documents. They have not done so,” said Justice Komingoi.

In their opposition to the application, the residents under the auspices of Kilimani Project Foundation (suing on behalf of Kilimani residents association) said the clubs were still acting with impunity.

The group urged the court to note that there was a shootout at the premises of B Club which they described as a demonstration that the bar has no control over its clientele.

The said shooting incident involved Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino, who is facing a criminal trial for the attempted murder of Frank Orinda alias DJ Evolve on January 16, 2020.

The City county government was not opposed to the applications as it told Justice Komingoi that it had chosen to associate with submissions of the applicants except that of Space lounge and Grill.

In the last shutdown order, the county government together with the National Environment and Management Authority (Nema) and Chair of the county Alcoholic Drinks and Licensing Board were compelled to issue and enforce closure notices against the clubs.

The court found the bars had contravened the regulations that control noise and excessive vibration pollution.
The closure was caused by a petition filed by the Kilimani residents association, who argued that the night clubs had become a nuisance as they deprived them of the basic necessity of sleep on a regular basis.

The residents added that the clubs were causing a bad influence to children thus violating their rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Some of the other negative effects from the said establishments release noise, littering by patrons, obstruction of motor vehicles of the patrons, exposure to immoral and indecent behaviour by the patrons inside their vehicles, property prices being driven down as a result of all those activities and loss of income by some residents,” said the petitioners.

The residents told the court that the operators of the businesses played loud music daily and hosted rowdy drunken revellers thereby depriving them of sleep and security.