Popular Citizen TV news anchor Trevor Ombija has kicked up a social media storm with his take on the looming closure of 43 bars and entertainment joints in Nairobi over noise pollution.
On Tuesday, the Nairobi County Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri held a meeting with the 43 bar owners whose establishments are earmarked for closure at Ngong Hills Hotel, where they aired their grievances to the county leadership of Governor Johnson Sakaja.
In a clip that has since gone viral on social media, Mr Ombija can be seen asking Nairobi County officials to institute a minimum threshold for the number of residents' complaints that necessitate action from authorities.
He said he feels that loud entertainment joints should not be closed over a few complaints from neighbouring residents, noting that it should require at least half of the people living in the area complaining to warrant action.
“When there is a complaint against a bar owner or a restaurant, let us have more than half of the people complaining. If the apartments are twenty, fifteen of them should show us their list, signed, and tell us this is the problem,” he is heard saying in the clip.
He went on to state that he has been struggling to deal with noise pollution complaints due to his establishment, while citing an example of how he offered to sound proof an aggrieved resident's house.
He also proposes that complaining residents in estates be required to produce home lease documents before further action is taken by city authorities.
While reacting to Mr Ombija's take, former Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi criticised his opinion, saying that noise pollution should be contained.
“Trevor Ombija...you don’t offer to seal our ears. Noise pollution must be contained,” Mr Havi said.
Many other Kenyans also expressed their disappointment with his comments, leading the TV presenter to trend at number 1 on Twitter Wednesday morning.
After the clip went viral, Mr Ombija took to Twitter to explain the context of his comments.
According to the Director of Liquor Licensing Hesbon M Angwena, complaints were raised by the residents and members of the general public regarding the noise from 43 clubs.
“The complaints have also been received by the County Environment Compliance and Enforcement officers and despite arrests and arraignment in court, the proprietors have refused to comply and continue to contravene the stipulated licensing condition,” Mr Angwena said in a statement.
The next move is expected to be issued by the county leadership after yesterday’s meeting.