The members of Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) led by the National chairman Michael Muthami have called for a joint stakeholders meeting to find a lasting solution following the closure of entertainment joints operating in residential areas within the city by Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja over alleged noise pollution terming the move derogatory.
Muthami noted that over 400 outlets making up 3.3 per cent of bars in Nairobi are licensed as night Clubs with an estimation that each of the 400-night clubs in Nairobi employs 50 to 80 full- time employees totaling to an average of 26,000 people and 20 to 30 temporary employees estimated to a total average of 10,000 people.
The association said the move will result into massive job loss by members with over 13,000 of its permanent staff set to be shown exit door if the ban on nightclubs in residential areas is enforced estimating over 10,000 the temporary employees will be served redundant due to the reduced operations within nightclubs.
“This week we learn that Nairobi City County governor, Johnson Sakaja has ordered the closure of all pubs within the city. We find this action to be punitive because all stakeholders weren’t involved in the decision to shut them down. More importantly, the closures are a big blow to the entertainment ecosystem in Nairobi as they have led to the loss of jobs, a reduction in Excise Duty to the government and are a threat to the empowerment of the creative economy which consists of DJs, food vendors, car wash people, boda bodas and other hardworking hustlers.” Muthami said.
PERAK proposes that the county government give the bars and nightclubs up to 6 months to introduce measures to mitigate against noise pollution, such as the installation of soundproofing, and between 12 and 18 months to relocate to the Central Business District and other areas zoned to allow nightclubs. It is important to consider the rights due to investors who have paid the fees for licences to operate and continue to pay taxes and contribute to the growth of the economy in these hard times.
They also call upon the Governor to give a clarification on why pubs situated in Malls which are considered non-residential areas have also been affected by the move.