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Court rejects LSK bid on travel ban

By Grace Ng'ang'a | June 26th 2020 at 07:06:40 GMT +0300

Lawyers' bid to have travel restrictions lifted and direction for wearing masks lifted has failed.

The court dismissed the case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) seeking to quash regulations by the Ministry of Health with regard to curbing Covid-19 disease spread.

While dismissing the case, Justice James Makau observed that LSK’s bid was against public interest and safety. He said allowing the prayers sought by LSK was tantamount to handing Kenyans a death sentence to walk around with.

“The measures and steps undertaken under the Public Health (prevention, control, and suppression of Covid-19) should be supported for the good of all,” he said.

The court affirmed that the order by the government on mandatory wearing of face masks and the restriction of movement was legal.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

According to LSK, the directives by the government were unconstitutional as public participation was not considered before the law was implemented.

LSK further argued that the rules were never approved by Parliament yet a criminal penalty was introduced to any person that could break the law.

The lawyers body also claimed that the directives were discriminatory to the poor and vulnerable as they cannot afford the face masks.

In his ruling, the judge said the government has every right to enforce measures that are in line with any precautionary principle.

“The use of a curfew order to restrict the contact between persons as advised by the Ministry of Health is a legitimate action. The government cannot be faulted for enforcing measures to slow down the spread of this novel disease,” he further stated.

Justice Makau condemned police officers who take advantage of the curfew and use it as a way of fighting crime. Makau said the curfew’s sole objective should be to protect the health of Kenyans.

"For the curfew order to achieve its objectives and to be embraced by the public, it should not be seen as a tool of force,” said Makau adding, “I think the main problem with the curfew order is how it has been implemented.

The ruling comes a day after a man in Lessos, Nandy County, was allegedly shot dead for not wearing a face mask.

Earlier this month, the Independent Policing Oversight Body released a statement indicating that at least 15 people have lost their lives in the hands of the police since the restrictions were put in place.


Law Society of Kenya Covid-19 Ministry of Health
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