JAB IMPASSE

LSK sues state over Covid-19 vaccine import ban

Lawyers argue decision by Kagwe is unlawful

In Summary
  • In a petition filed in court, LSK argues that the decision by the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to ban private sector importation and distribution of the vaccines is unlawful.
  • LSK is also seeking to lift the rules on lockdown issued by the President on March 26 saying the public order is illegal.
A medic holds a bottle labelled Vaccine Covid-19.
VACCINE TRIALS: A medic holds a bottle labelled Vaccine Covid-19.
Image: REUTERS

The Law Society of Kenya has moved to court challenging the decision by the state to ban importation of Covid-19 vaccines by the private sector.

LSK argues that the decision by the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to ban private sector importation and distribution of the vaccines is unlawful.

“The banning of the importation of vaccines is challenged because such a decision cannot be made when the vaccination capacity of the government is 30 per cent of the population of Kenya,” reads court documents.

Through their president Nelson Havi the society wants the court to bar the implementation and enforcement of the decision made by Kagwe last week.

They further want the court to suspend the decision to cancel the licenses of the entities who were importing and administering the vaccine to the public.

LSK is also seeking to lift the rules on lockdown issued by the President on March 26 saying the public order is illegal.

“The public order made by the President on March 26 is impugned on the grounds that the same is not founded upon any provision of law, is unlawful, unconstitutional is inconsistent which violates and contravenes the constitution of Kenya,” Havi argues.

LSK says they are challenging the restriction of movement because they cannot be enforced as law through arrests and criminals prosecution in any court of Kenya without prior public participation as required by law.

According to court documents, LSK says the government is yet to enact a disaster preparedness and relief act more than a year after the pandemic and has instead relied upon directives of the president and orders issued the CS Health.

“The decisions challenged herein are manifestly unlawful and unconstitutional and their implementation and enforcement ought to be stayed to prevent the ends of justice from being defeated by the state,” LSK argued.

-Edited by Sarah Kanyara