Nairobi Businessman Challenges Governor Sakaja’s Liquor Store Closure Directive

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Rights Defender Confronts Nairobi Governor’s Liquor-Ban Directive

Rights Advocate Opposes Nairobi Governor’s Directive on Liquor Shops

In a landmark move, a human rights activist, whose legal representation comes from Mugane Law LLP, has lodged a contentious objection to a mandate issued by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. The directive, targeting all liquor stores situated in the proximity of public service termini and stages across Nairobi, has been challenged in a demand letter submitted on 4th March.

The Demand Letter: An Appeal for Reasonable Corrections

The letter principally argues for repealing the directive in its current form. Alternatively, it recommends modifying the directive by removing the term ‘all’, thereby exempting businesses that have fulfilled all statutory requirements and remain compliant with the regulations.

Issue Date and Enforcement Timeline of the Directive

Originally announced on 23rd February, the directive was slated for implementation within a week with Patrick Akivaga at the helm, supervising and ensuring its execution.

Legal Challenge: Constitutional Disregard on Multiple Grounds

Addressing its several contentions, the legal challenge purports that the directive fails to respect several constitutional doctrines. The principles allegedly violated include fairness, rationality, justice, effective public participation, and legitimate expectation.

Points Raised Against the Directive

The challenge further highlights that the directive imposes unjustifiable penalties on licensed and compliant firms complying with stipulated regulations, with no cogent reason for its discriminatory approach. It rejects the premise that PSV operators qualify as a special interest group warranting such exclusive regulations.

Potential Legal Consequences: Warning to Governor Sakaja

Unless the directive is amended or retracted within 48 hours of the receipt of the letter, the human rights defender threatened to pursue stringent legal action. The legal recourse in case of non-compliance might include launching a lawsuit against Governor Sakaja in the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court.

Broad Concerns: Democratic Rights and Directive’s Rationality

The grievance emphasizes apprehensions regarding the validity and implications of the directive, signaling concerns over a possible infringement on democratically established rights. It questions the directive’s fundamental rationale and what its enforcement might mean for the democratic fabric of Nairobi.

Anna Parker

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