120 Liquor Stores Shut in Nairobi After Governor Sakaja's Orders

Buses and matatus pick up upcountry travellers at Nairobi's famous Machakos country bus station
Long-distance buses at Nairobi's Bus Station area in a photo dated November 2017.

The County Government of Nairobi has shut down over 120 liquor stores in Starehe Sub-County days after Governor Johnson Sakaja ordered a crackdown on stores within bus stops. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, February 27, the county confirmed that it had arrested a total of 25 suspects during the raid conducted by officials drawn from the Nairobi Liquor Department and the National Police Services.

The operation, targeting unlicensed wines and spirits operating near bus stations, was conducted at six different bus stops.

Four people were nabbed at the county bus station as the officials closed down ten bars, some belonging to the arrested, suspected of owning the joints. 

A photo of a Handcuffed man
A photo of a Handcuffed man

Raiding the Muthurwa bus stop, the officials managed to close up 20 entertainment joints. However, no arrests were made in the process.

Consequently, 23 liquor outlets were closed at Hakati Bus Station Terminus where nine people were taken into custody. 

At the Accra Road Terminus, 27 outlets were shut down and eight people arrested while at Latema Road Terminus, 18 premises were closed with no arrests. 

Finally, the officials closed 22 outlets as they arrested six people at the Old Nation Roundabout Terminus.

This raid follows a Nairobi County government's February 23 order, that directed for all liquor stores operating near bus stops to be closed within seven days.

Following a meeting with the Owners Association (MOA) and officials from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Sakaja raised concerns over increased road accidents linked to drinking and driving.

“Drivers and touts have become habitual drinkers. We are going to remove the wines and spirits located at the stages within a week," Sakaja stated.

According to the county boss, driving under the influence of alcohol was the leading cause of road accidents in the country, in reference to the report from the (NTSA) on the number of deaths caused by road accidents in the first month of 2024.

A matatu stage in Nairobi (left) and Governor Johnson Sakaja.
A matatu stage in Nairobi (left) and Governor Johnson Sakaja.
Johnson Sakaja
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