The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) has been granted expanded authority by the government to enforce laws addressing alcohol abuse.

Nacada’s mandate involves coordinating a multi-sectoral campaign and disseminating fundamental knowledge on preventing, controlling, and mitigating Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ADA) and related harms in Kenya.

CEO Anthony Omerikwa of Nacada emphasized that this development will empower the Authority to fulfill its compliance and enforcement mandate within a legally binding framework.

“This means that Nacada can now confidently implement its supply suppression strategies with the full backing of the law. These are some of the teething problems that have been acting as stumbling blocks to the effective implementation of our mandate, but I am glad that we are now past that,” said Mr Omerikwa.

In light of this recent development, Nacada’s authorized officers will have the authority to enter any premises suspected of violating the law at any given time.

Before this, Nacada depended on law enforcement officers. However, the recent development grants operational independence to the agency’s officers, allowing them to seek assistance from police officers only when deemed necessary.

According to the law, Nacada officers are additionally empowered to conduct tests, analyses, or measurements. They may also demand that any person present in the location produce, for inspection or copying, any relevant written or electronic information pertaining to the administration or enforcement of the Act.

“I want to assure the public that we will do things differently in the future to ensure that the law is followed as expected. We also call on all stakeholders in the alcoholic drinks space to play by the rules to avoid legal action,” said Omerikwa.

In a gazette notice released on Friday, December 1, 2023, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki listed the names of officers who are authorized to enter and inspect premises either with the consent of the occupant or under the authority of a warrant issued by a magistrate or High Court judge, specifying the individuals named in the warrant.

The law further specifies that the permissible time for such entries is between 6 am and 6 pm on any day of the week. In executing a warrant, Nacada officers are prohibited from using force unless accompanied by a police officer, and the use of force must be explicitly authorized in the warrant.