Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has announced that he will not close noisy churches.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Green Park bus terminal on Thursday, December 1, 2022, the county head stated that he has opted to initiate a dialogue with the religious leaders in order to seek alternative solutions to the issue aforementioned.
"I will not close the churches. We want them to spread the gospel of obeying rules and regulations. I will initiate talks with them because we must be reasonable and accommodate each other in the city," Sakaja stated.
"I will not go back on the abolition of bars and restaurants from residences. We have closed that chapter. Let us move on. Those saying people will lose jobs are seeking sympathy. It is the right thing to do although is unpopular,"
Sakaja's sentiments were in response to a plea by the Atheist Society of Kenya and a section of Kenyans asking him to shut down noisy churches.
This followed after the county boss revoked the licences of over 43 clubs and entertainment joints across residential areas in the city.
At the time, Atheists chairperson Harrison Mumia decried that the governor was privileging religious institutions.
As a society, we have received numerous complaints about places of worship that are a nuisance to residents of Nairobi due to noise pollution," he stated.
"We demand that the Nairobi County Government include places of worship in its notice. We suspect that Governor Sakaja is privileging religious institutions on this issue,"
Sakaja bans residential nightclubs
On Friday, November 25, 2022, Sakaja banned nightclubs from operating in residential areas following numerous complaints from the public on noise emanating from bars, restaurants, nightclubs and liquor-selling premises.
In a statement, the governor stated that no nightclub licenses will be issued to premises operating in residential areas and added that licenses would only be issued to clubs within the Central Business District (CBD) and specified streets.
The county boss additionally stated that licences already issued to nightclub owners in residential areas were cancelled.
"No nightclub licenses will be issued or renewed for premises operating within residential areas. Those already issued are hereby cancelled and establishments may continue operating as bars and restaurants only," Sakaja stated.
"Henceforth, nightclub licenses will be issued to premises only within the Central Business District and specified streets in other non-residential areas,"
He underscored that bars and restaurants in the areas described above must stop playing loud music past 10:00 pm.
"Bars and restaurants in residential areas must operate within the specified time and control noise emanating from their premises, specifically, playing of music must stop by 10 pm," Sakaja added.
Further, the county chief directed that all liquor-selling premises in the county should provide adequate parking space for its clients and subsequently warned that vehicles causing obstruction along roads and footpaths will be impounded.
"All liquor-selling premises in the county should provide sufficient parking for its clientele. Vehicles causing obstruction along roads and footpaths shall be impounded," he added.