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Manager, 11 bouncers on trial for assaulting journalists, police in shisha operation

 A court gavel. (Courtesy)

Eleven security guards of a restaurant in Kilimani, Nairobi were on Wednesday charged with assaulting journalists and police officers on Friday last week.

A scuffle ensued at the hotel during an operation to arrest shisha users by National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada).

The guards at Kettle House Bar and Grill denied six charges against them before senior principal magistrate Gilbert Shikwe.

Those charged were Albanus Luseno Mucheywa, Charles Otieno Opiyo, Bramuel Ngosane, Joseph Mwai Owiyo, Daniel Kaka Einyangala, Iddi Onyango Odaga, Daniel Mburu Ngugi, Antony Ndune Wanjiku, Emily Awuor, Elizabeth Malesi and Linda Chapkorir.

They denied the charges and were each released on a bond of Sh100,000 or alternatively pay a cash bail of Sh30,000. 

Nine other security guards though had been released on a police cash bail of Sh10,000, did not turn up for plea taking. Their cash bail was forfeited to the state and a warrant of arrest issued against them. 

The restaurant manager Sospeter Onyango Otieno who was also present in court, was charged with one count of selling shisha and was released on a cash bail of Sh10,000.

Security guards

The security guards were charged that on January 5, 2024 with assaulting three journalists Boniface Okendo (Standard newspaper), Jane Kibira (KBC) and Boniface Elvis (Nation).

The journalists were covering the operation to net users of shisha at the restaurant and had among them, police officers attached to Nacada.

Police officers Joseph Ruto, Joel Kirimi Nyaga and Boniface Muia were injured during the operation.

Through their lawyer, the suspects asked the court to give them reasonable bail terms as they had cooperated well with police since their arrest.

“Their place of abode is well known, they have young families and they are security officers in their place of work well known and working in harsh economic times,” the lawyer pleaded.

He said the suspects will fully cooperate with the investigators. The prosecution side did not object to them being released on bail but maintained that the court should bear the magnitude of the offences facing the suspects.

The case will be mentioned on January 24.

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