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Fifteen businessmen move to court seeking to quash ban on shisha

By Faith Karanja | Published Sat, December 30th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 29th 2017 at 21:33 GMT +3

In a petition filed at the High Court on Friday, they claim that the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu did not act within his powers when he declared smoking of the product illegal.

The businessmen argue that Dr Mailu failed to spell out the diseases that are caused by smoking shisha.

They claim that the ban raises fundamental issues on administrative laws.

The traders further said that despite being stakeholders in the shisha industry, they were not consulted by the CS.

They argued that the decision contravenes the provisions of Statutory Instruments Act which provides that public organisations should involve stakeholders likely to be affected by implementation of some rules.

One of the petitioners, Kennedy Langat says in his affidavit that he runs a shisha and liquor business in Westlands, Nairobi under the name Shisha Place Bar and Restaurant yet he was not consulted.

“I have the current licenses and duly authorised to carry out shisha business in Nairobi,” reads his affidavit.

Shisha smokers and traders were dealt a blow yesterday when the Government banned its importation, manufacture, advertising and sale in Kenya.

Anyone found guilty of the offense will be liable to a fine of Sh 50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

The business were directed by the court to serve the respondents and return on January 4, for further directions.

Justice John Mativo said that he cannot issue the orders sought without hearing from the respondents.