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CEO Writes to Ruto, Sakaja Over Risk of Losing Multi-Million Restaurant

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An anonymous business owner splashed over Ksh300,000 on advert space on Nation on Monday, December 5, to pen a letter to President William Ruto and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. 

In the advertisement, the CEO decried the recent directive by the Nairobi governor over the closure of restaurants and nightclubs in residential areas. 

In particular, he pointed out his business, an outdoor restaurant located in one of the suburbs of Nairobi County. He noted the directive not only affected nightclubs but all restaurants whose peak hours began past 10 pm. 

A photo collage of Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and a Disc Jockey(DJ) at an event.

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Selectah Kerry, Johnson Sakaja

“Mr President and our able Nairobi Governor, this is where the problem is. Whether you own a restaurant or you own a nightclub in Nairobi and if you wish to operate past 10 pm or 11 pm, we are all issued with a similar licence called a Night Club Licence.

“So when the licences were revoked, it means both restaurants and night clubs cannot operate past 10 pm,” read part of the letter. 

He pointed out that the majority of restaurants which don’t play music have been caught up in the mess of nightclubs and hence have suffered the same fate. 

“To safeguard the interests of restaurants which don’t play music, and have highly contributed to Nairobi’s GDP, this is an amendment that deserves to be looked into with a lot of urgency since a number of restaurants have been caught up in a mess caused by night clubs,” he stated. 

The CEO noted that his peak operating hours on weekdays began from 7 pm to midnight and up to 2 am on weekends. 

While detailing his plea, the CEO affirmed that he rose from humble beginnings as he initially operated a food joint in Kibera for seven years. 

He took a Ksh20 million loan to set up the restaurant and used his mother’s only piece of land as collateral in 2019. However, things went south during the pandemic but quickly recovered in 2021. 

“The outdoor restaurant has since employed 108 staff. Our sales are 80 percent on food and 20 percent on drinks, mostly wines. We generate most of our sales evening diners starting from 7 pm to midnight on weekdays and up to 2 am on weekends. This means 10 percent of our workforce are on day shift and 90 percent on night shift,” he stated. 

According to the CEO, he has spent over Ksh1.4 million on permits and licences. He urged the president to intervene in the situation as he claimed to be the only breadwinner in his family. 

President William Ruto joins congregants during an Interdenominational Prayer service at the University of Embu, Embu County on December 4, 2022.

President William Ruto joins congregants during an Interdenominational Prayer service at the University of Embu, Embu County on December 4, 2022.

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William Ruto





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