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Kiza lounge, B Club lose battle to regain licences

B-Club in Kilimani
Entrance of B-Club in Kilimani, Nairobi after an earlier closure. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE 

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

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

But clubs sought to reopen via a court petition on grounds that they stand to lose more than Sh400 million in investments.

On top of the financial losses, the court was told that at least 120 people will be rendered jobless, hitting livelihoods.

The entertainment joints had filed separate applications urging the Environment and Land Court to suspend implementation of an earlier court order that required the City Hall to revoke their permits and liquor licences.

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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.

Barry Ndengeyingoma, managing director and co-proprietor of B Club, Antonio Leting of Explorer Tavern, James Kungu Kariuki of Space Lounge Bar and Grill and Judy Gitau of Kiza Lounge in their affidavits said they would suffer substantial loss of investments.

But Justice Loice Komingoi noted that the clubs are close to residential zones and that the traders did not provide evidence of the losses.

“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.

The residents, through Kilimani Project Foundation, said the clubs were operating with impunity before their closure following a State order to close bars and night clubs to curb the spread of coronavirus.

They referred to the shootout at B Club as a demonstration that the bar has no control over its clientele.

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

Last October, the county government together with the National Environment and Management Authority and Chair of the county Alcoholic Drinks and Licensing Board were compelled to cancel the clubs’ permits and enforce the closure.

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