State to appeal decision to include lawyers as essential service providers

Photo|Courtesy Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.

The government is set to challenge a ruling by the court to include the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) among the essential service providers.

The government has filed a notice to appeal Judge Weldon Korir’s ruling saying that it is dissatisfied with the ruling made by High Court judge.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, and the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki want the decision reversed.

“Take note that the respondents herein being dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court on April 16, intends to appeal at the Court of Appeal against such part of the decision as decides that…,” the notice reads.

As per the judge’s ruling which is supposed to be effective within five days from Thursday states that the government ought to include the lawyers and IPOA among the list of people exempted from restrictions of the curfew imposed over the coronavirus outbreak.

“An order of mandamus is issued compelling the 2nd Respondent to amend, within five days from the date of this judgement, the Schedule to the Public Order (State Curfew) Order, 2020 so as to include the 3rd Interested Party (IPOA) and the members of the Petitioner [LSK] in the list of “services, personnel or workers” exempted from the provisions of the Public Order (State Curfew) Order, 2020,” reads the ruling.

LSK briefed the court on the danger of violation of the rights of arrested persons if they fail to access their lawyers during curfew hours

They further argued that their non-listing went against the right to fair hearing and fair trial as spelled in Article 50 of the Constitution.

As part of the ruling in the case filed by LSK, the court declined to lift the curfew or extend the curfew to 10pm.

Among those listed as essential service providers include; Medical professionals and health workers, National Security, Administration and Co-ordination Officers,  Public health and sanitation officers in the County governments, Licensed pharmacies and drug stores, Licensed broadcasters and media houses among others.