NACADA and Kenya Union of Journalists Condemn Violent Incident at Kettle House Bar and Grill Resulting in Injuries to Journalists and Police

NAIROBI, Kenya – The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) and the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) have spoken out against the violent incident at Kettle House Bar and Grill, which left journalists and police officers injured.

NACADA Chairman Stephen Mairori emphasized that both journalists and law enforcement officers should be able to carry out their duties without fear of violence or intimidation. He condemned the violent response to the crackdown on illegal shisha activities and stated that criminal charges against the offenders have been initiated.

KUJ Secretary General Erick Oduor underscored the right of journalists to serve society and called for appropriate action to be taken by law enforcement. The incident occurred when officials targeted the bar for allowing patrons to smoke shisha, which is prohibited in Kenya.

During the confrontation, journalists and police officers sustained injuries and had their equipment damaged. The altercation unfolded as police, accompanied by journalists and NACADA officials, sought to apprehend club managers and patrons for alleged shisha smoking.

The reporters were physically assaulted by the club’s bouncers, and their recording equipment was confiscated. However, the injured individuals, including Nation Media photographer Boniface Bogita, are reported to be in stable condition. A knife suspected to have been used in the stabbings was recovered during the operation, leading to the arrest of 21 individuals.

The Kettle House Bar and Grill had previously faced complaints from neighbors about loud music, prompting action during the recent raid against shisha. NACADA’s CEO Antony Omerikwa and Head of Enforcement Nicholas Kosgei led the operation, resulting in several arrests and the recovery of shisha pots. Shisha has been banned in Kenya since 2017, with penalties including fines starting at Ksh 50,000 or a minimum jail term of six months.