- High Court Judge Hedwig Ong’undi had directed the petitioner-Kenyan Peasants League to file their responses and submissions to the AG’s application by March 31.
- Lawyer Paul Mwangi, in his petition, claims the lifting of the ban derogates the right of the people of Kenya to fair administrative action.
The High Court will on Monday hear and determine whether petitions challenging the government’s plan to allow the importation and distribution of genetically modified organisms will be heard by a three-judge bench.
High Court Judge Hedwig Ong’undi had directed the petitioner-Kenyan Peasants League to file their responses and submissions to the AG’s application by March 31.
The case should have been heard by Justice Mugure Thande but she was seized of the matter.
“The judge hearing this matter is on leave and I'm only stepping in. So I'm going to give directions as per her directions,” Ong'undi said.
Attorney General Justin Muturi on February 14 filed the application for empanelment of an expanded bench, saying the issues raised by the petitioners; lawyer Paul Mwangi and Kenyan Peasants League were weighty.
Lawyer Paul Mwangi, in his petition, claims the lifting of the ban derogates the right of the people of Kenya to fair administrative action.
“The same is unlawful and procedurally unfair for the failure of the Cabinet to conduct public participation before removal of all regulatory protocols governing the introduction and use of GMOs and crops,” Mwangi said.
He contends that Kenya has achieved great developments in its biotechnology research that have seen the development of food crops that mature in record periods with double productivity.
“The hasty removal of all regulatory protocols in the cultivation and trade in genetically modified foods in Kenya is, therefore, neither rational nor reasonable,” Mwangi said in court documents.
Kenyan Peasants League claim that the lifting of the ban and removing regulatory protocols imposed in 2012 is unprocedural and unlawful.
At a Cabinet meeting on October 3, 2022, the government lifted a 10-year ban on the importation of GM foods to combat climate change and foster food security.
But the High Court has since suspended the importation following three petitions challenging the lifting of the ban by President William Ruto.