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.
A bar owner responds to complaints about noise coming from this pub located in Kileleshwa… pic.twitter.com/caws9tKnJA
— Mungai Kihanya (@mungaikihanya) October 12, 2022
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.
Yaani Trevor Ombija stood confidently and said he offered to soundproof a neighbour's house… let that sink in. Not his nightclub located in a residential area WHICH has the noise issues, but someone's home… mimi I have never heard something so absurd.
— Wanjiru wa Ndooro (@Gaddafess) October 12, 2022
Trevor Ombija says if his club or any other night club is making noise, at least half of the residents must complain.😆😆. Not you alone. And after complaining, the half of the residents have to show him, or any other club owner their leases, to show they own the houses! 😆😆😆.
— Juma G 🇰🇪 (@jumaf3) October 12, 2022
In Law, one complaint is enough.
— Parkin Munzala (@ParkinMunzala) October 12, 2022
After the clip went viral, Mr Ombija took to Twitter to explain the context of his comments.
1/3: I have a neighbour who wanted us to shutdown because I did not give her a landscaping job. We reduced our volume completely all other neighbours were ok with our attempts, except her so I offered to go the extra mile of soundproofing as a last resort she still refused. https://t.co/s6Dy35098S
— Trevor Ombija, HSC (@TrevorOmbija) October 12, 2022
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.
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