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Popular nightclub 1824 owner seeks court intervention to reopen

The owner of 1824 Whiskey Bar on Lang’ata Road has moved to court seeking to compel the police to reopen the popular club.

In a petition under certificate of urgency, Wilson Kanani and Seventeen Forty Nine Ltd argues that the continued closure of the restaurant amounted to curtailment of his business rights and an infringement of his and employees’ right to economic and social rights.

He said the police raided the club on November 17 and ordered the closure of the bar, citing failure to comply with Covid-19 health directives.

Through lawyer Duncan Okatch, the club owner said it has complied with all the requirements by the ministry of health, to operate the joint.

He said before the closure, there was constant harassment by the police and sometimes unfair and malicious arrest its employees. And despite the arrests, no charges have ever been preferred against them, if at all there was any crime they had committed.

He has named the OCS Lang’ata, Nairobi Regional Commander and the officer in charge of health Lang’ata and the Ministry of health as respondents in the case.

Mr Kanani said the closure will render jobless more than 100 persons who work in the said establishment as waiters, waitress, deejays, security personnel and parking assistants, cleaners and cooks. The closure has seen the club lose Sh1.5 million per day, since the closure.

He accused the police of ganging up against the club and misusing the criminal justice system for abuse of power to harass his business.

“Unless the court intervenes, the police will continue to maliciously harass the petitioners, infringing on their economic rights,” he said, adding they are entitled to equal protection and equal benefit before the law.

He wants the police compelled to reopen the clubs and stop interfering with the businesses, pending the determination of the case.

Court documents indicate that the club has adhered to all Covid-19 regulations and have authorisation and certification from all authorities to conduct the business.

At the time of the closure, the club had complied with the necessary directives and despite applying once more and paying for the required certificates, the police have refused to comply with the order to reopen.