BAT fails to stop enforcement of tobacco control rules

The Attorney General has hit out at an attempt by a cigarette manufacturer to stop the implementation of the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 that are to be enforced on June 6.

Through a State counsel, AG Githu Muigai termed the case filed by British American Tobacco (BAT) as premature and illogical as the regulations are yet to be effected.

High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi thus declined to issue temporary orders stopping the implementation of the tobacco regulations next month and instead directed that the matter proceeds to hearing.

"In view of the rigid positions taken by the parties in this matter, let the application proceed to hearing," she directed and set a hearing date for June 27.

The AG conceded that BAT has made attempts at getting technical information on the new regulations but he argued that the laws can be enforced and challenged when in place.

"We cannot enforce what is before the National Assembly. BAT's position is illogical because we cannot enforce what is not in force," the AG said.

The tobacco company went to court, under a certificate of urgency, seeking to have the regulations quashed citing that they are unconstitutional.

BAT head of legal Simukai Munjanganja argued that the cost of compliance with the new regulations is huge and will negatively impact the company.