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January 19, 2018

Nema's club closure order malicious, no inspections done - Kiza owner

A file photo of revellers at a club in Nairobi.
A file photo of revellers at a club in Nairobi.

Kiza club managers have agreed to close it despite Nema's "refusal" to inspect sound proofing.

 But owner Ali Oumarou told The Star on Friday that the order was malicious as the authority's officers had not inspected the establishment despite several invitations.

Read: NEMA shuts two more clubs in Kilimani, KIZA and Jiweke Tavern

Ali said he wrote to the Kilimani Foundation chairman and Nema, inviting them to conduct a sound check. He said the chairman and some residents went to the location for an inspection but that Nema official did not respond.

"I have written to Nema twice inviting them to conduct a sound check and confirm whether the club adheres to the Noise Regulation Act but they neither replied nor visited."

He said those who visited the club confirmed no noise could be heard from outside.

"Two years back we had no problem of noise pollution. How come they did not issue a closure notice before?"

The club is located on the 8th floor of Galana Plaza along Galana Road in Kilimani.

Ali said that had there been noise, Homeboyz Studios would have been first to complain as its offices are in the same building.

"My club doesn't have windows to let music out and Kiza is the only East African club to have a sound proof disco and modified headphones."

The owner said the headphones ensure people do not hear what others listen to.

"Kiza club was opened in 2015. I took responsibility as the owner to make sure noise from the club would not interfere with people's lives," he said.

"Last year Kiza hosted 128 international artistes. This shows the club is recognised in the entertainment industry.

"I even installed 2.22mm sound proof glass to make sure the noise was contained. After this I wrote to Nema for a check but they did not respond."

He added he personally hired traffic control marshalls to control people at the venue so all their operations are orderly.

Ali said operations at the club had been smooth since 2015 and that complaints were first raised when other establishments moved to the building.

But he added: "I am a law abiding citizen so when we received the closure notice from Nema, we closed down Kiza."

The letter from the authority stated that numerous noise complaints had been made and that the establishment had been interfering with people's comfort, health and safety.

This, it noted, was contrary to provisions of Environmental Management and Coordination Act CAP 387 and the Noise and Excessive Vibration Pollution Control regulations of 2009.

Ali said he handed the notice to his lawyer after signing it and that he was "working on it".

"I have around 100 staff members. How will they earn if the club is closed?" Ali asked. "The lawyer will tell us the way forward. For now, KIza remain closed."

Dj Creme de la Creme said Nema should consider the plight of club owners, staff members and Djs.

Space Lounge said it was not ready to respond to the closure notice.

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