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Watch: DJs express frustration with Sakaja’s ban on clubs

A section of Nairobi disk jokeys (DJs) have said that the move made by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to close all bars within residential areas is a big blow to the entertainment industry within the city.

The DJs argue that Sakaja never involved all stakeholders before making the decision to ban nightclubs within residential areas.

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Led by their chairman, the DJs said that they foresee a crisis if the ban continues.

“The move to ban nightclubs is a big blow to Nairobi’s entertainment industry. The move has caused DJs, vendors and those in the carwash business to lose their jobs,” said the chairman.

“Some of the city askaris are taking advantage of the situation and they are intimidating our members. Some of the askaris are even asking for bribes,” said the chairman.

The team has asked Sakaja to consider dialogue as a way of solving the issue.

“We call upon our governor to consider a dialogue so that we iron things out,” the chairman added.

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He also noted that there are some bars that have invested millions in installing soundproofing.

“There are some bars that should not be closed because they have invested millions in installing soundproof equipment. The governor should have given at least six months before closing the bars.”

Nightclubs that have been banned from operating in residential areas may have to lay off about 23,000 employees, leading to a total loss of more than 1.6 billion shillings.

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The national chairman of Pubs Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak), Michael Muthami, said the ban on nightclub licences will cut sales to as low as those witnessed when Covid-19 first hit Kenya, and that consumption of alcohol may decline by as much as 30 per cent.

Four hundred outlets or 3.3 per cent of bars in Nairobi are licensed as nightclubs.

It is estimated that each of the 400 nightclubs in Nairobi employs 50-80 full-time employees (a total average of 26,000 people) and 20-30 temporary employees (a total average of 10,000 people).

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