Kenya: Quest By Four Clubs to Have Permits Back Flops in Court

Four popular night clubs in Nairobi's upmarket area of Kilimani will remain closed after a court dismissed their request to reopen pending hearing and determination of an appeal challenging revocation of their licences.

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

But the operators sought to reopen on grounds that if closure notices issued against them were 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 would be rendered jobless and as a result, livelihoods affected.

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

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

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

However, 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.

On the issue of the businesses suffering loss of their investments, the judge said none had 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 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 shoot-out -- where Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino was accused of shhoting a DJ -- at B Club which they described as a demonstration that the bar has no control over its clientele.

The city was not opposed to the application as it told court that it had chosen to associate with submissions of the applicants except Space lounge and Grill.

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