Nairobi Authorities Shut Down 120 Liquor Outlets, Arrest 25 Bar Owners

February 28, 2024

A multisectoral operation involving the Nairobi Liquor Department, Security and Compliance, and the National Police resulted in the closure of 120 liquor outlets and the arrest of 25 bar owners in Starehe sub-county.

This comes after Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson last week directed the Nairobi Liquor Department and the Security and Compliance departments to crack down on wines and spirit joints near bus stops and terminals as the city intensifies its efforts to curb alcohol abuse.

Governor Sakaja Johnson chaired a meeting last Friday that brought together the Chairman of the Federation of Public Transport sector, public transport operators, public transport saccos, and companies operating within the jurisdiction of Nairobi City County.

“We will no longer allow and tolerate disorder in the city. Nairobi is the capital city. I have directed the removal of all wines and spirits shops located around matatu terminals and bus stops. Drivers and Touts are spending most of their time in these wines and spirits that have turned into bars and drinking dens as they wait for customers. We have lost loved ones due to recklessness on our roads because of alcohol and drug abuse. We have even discovered that all these bars targeted have been operating with the required licenses,” said Governor Sakaja.

Chief Officer of Security and Compliance, Tony Kimani, and Judith Anyango, Vice Chair of the Nairobi County Liquor Board, spearheaded the operation, which targeted wines and spirits joints at Country bus station, Muthurwa bus terminus, Hakati bus station, Accra road terminus, Latema road terminus, and Old Nation roundabout.

“Preliminary data collection within Starehe sub-county revealed that most wines and spirits operating in the bus terminuses are unlicensed, thereby operating in contravention of the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Act of 2014. The Nairobi Liquor Department is currently collating data for other outlets located in bus terminuses across the remaining sub-counties for closure in the coming days. The multi-agency crackdown will involve verifying outlet licenses to ensure there are no developments or the emergence of illegal alcohol,” stated Maureen Njeri, County Executive for Business and Hustler Opportunities, within the Nairobi Liquor Department.

Furthermore, Sakaja emphasized that the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing Board and the enforcement teams “have my full blessings and support to rid this city of this unbecoming behavior where young men and women start drinking at 9.00 am and expect to function properly. That will no longer be allowed in the Nairobi that we want.”

The operation team was divided into six teams with the following results:

  1. Country Bus Station
    • Liquor outlets closed: 10
    • Suspects arrested: 4 (selling illicit brew, booked at Kamukunji Police Station)
  2. Muthurwa Terminus
    • Liquor outlets closed: 20
    • Suspects arrested: None
  3. Hakati Bus Station Terminus
    • Liquor outlets closed: 23
    • Suspects arrested: 9
  4. Accra Road Terminus
    • Liquor outlets closed: 27
    • Suspects arrested: 8
  5. Latema Road Terminus
    • Liquor outlets closed: 18
    • Suspects arrested: None
  6. Old Nation Roundabout Terminus
    • Liquor outlets closed: 22
    • Suspects arrested: 6

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