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Court declines to lift ban on Shisha pending the hearing of an application for stay

By Faith Karanja | Published Fri, January 5th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 4th 2018 at 20:26 GMT +3
A man smokes shisha at Kisii Sports club on the night of April 30, 2017 [Sammy Omingo| Standard]

A Nairobi court has declined to lift the shisha smoking ban imposed by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.

Instead, Justice Roselyn Aburili directed 15 dealers to file an application to have the ban suspended, that will be heard today.

The judge also allowed the Association of Health Workers of Kenya to join the case as an interested party. The association wants the ban to remain in force.

But the dealers say the ban has put 30,000 jobs at stake and add that the situation is difficult, especially now that parents are struggling to take their children to school.

"Many people stand to suffer irreparable damages due to loss of income and employment," said lawyer Shella Sheikh, for the applicants.

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The lawyer asked the court to intervene and save investors from making losses.

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"It is our humble prayer that you grant stay of orders as we canvass the substantive issue in this matter," Sheikh said.

The dealers argue that despite being stakeholders, they were never consulted before the ban was implemented.

The petitioners, including Kennedy Langat, Maurice Obunga, Stephen Irungu, Vivian Shikweya and Henry Gitau, went to court a day after Dr Mailu imposed the ban on the importation, promotion and use of Shisha in Kenya.

Through lawyers who included Victor Savula, they termed the ban unconstitutional and a violation their right to employment.

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