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Closed: List of wines and spirits stores closed in the Nairobi CBD

The Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) has initiated a strict 7-day directive, spearheaded by Governor Johnson Sakaja, ordering the closure of all wines and spirits shops operating in close proximity to matatu and bus stops.

The move comes in response to alarming statistics linking alcohol abuse to road accidents and fatalities within the city.

Asserting its commitment to combat the scourge of alcoholism, the county government has embarked on a series of measures aimed at regulating the distribution and accessibility of alcoholic beverages.

These measures include stringent control over the licensing of liquor stores and strategic monitoring of their locations.

A recent investigation conducted by a Nairobi News photojournalist revealed a significant crackdown on such establishments.

Also read: You can’t drink here! Areas Sakaja has ordered removal of wine and spirits

Approximately 30 or more stores scattered across various city streets and back alleys have been closed under the directive.

Mfangano Lane, which stretches from Haile Sellassie Avenue to Luthuli Avenue, felt the impact of the crackdown, with around 10 establishments adorned with a prominent red X mark and closure dates prominently displayed on their metal security doors.

Notably, these stores were strategically positioned near multiple matatu pick-up points, including those serving the North Rift Shuttle and Thika routes.

Further inspections along the same lane unveiled a cluster of 6 adjacent stores, all bearing the mark of closure.

At the bustling Hakati Bus Terminus, a similar scene unfolded, with over 7 liquor stores meeting the same fate. Similarly, Gaberone Lane, a hub for commuter activity, saw a dozen establishments forced to cease operations.

This directive has elicited mixed reactions from various stakeholders. Employees of the affected stores, along with delivery personnel who rely on their businesses, have been adversely impacted.

Also read: Don’t touch us! – Licensed bar owners to Sakaja on crackdown

Additionally, street vendors specialising in snacks and stimulants like muguka and miraa, whose livelihoods depend on the patronage of alcohol consumers, find themselves grappling with the fallout of the closures.

Meanwhile, a contentious debate over the authority responsible for licensing liquor outlets has emerged, with Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome advocating for the reinstatement of police jurisdiction over liquor licensing, a practice reminiscent of earlier times.