Health CS Mutahi Kagwe During the Official Launch of Kenya’s Largest Oxygen Plant at the MTRH on Monday, August 30, 2021.KBC
The High Court sitting in Nairobi has declined to stop the Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, from implementing a directive requiring Kenyans to undergo mandatory vaccination.
The Ministry of Health had issued a directive to Kenyans to take the Covid-19 jab warning that those who will not have been vaccinated would be denied crucial services including travel.
Through a private application, lawyer Winfred Otieno Ochieng, wanted the court to suspend the CS’s directive, terming it as unlawful and unconstitutional.
However, Justice Anthony Mrimaruled that the directive would not be suspended until the lodged application is heard and determined after hearing responses from both parties.“I will not issue any interim orders at this stage until I hear the parties before the government directives take effect on December 21,” he ruled.
The Judge further urged the parties to file their pleadings with the court in 10 days, with the Ministry of Health being represented byAttorney General, Paul Kihara Kariuki.
“I direct all parties to file their responses and submissions before the hearing of the matter on December 20,” he ruled.
The petitioner had argued that implementing such a directive would deny Kenyans the rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution, such as the right to equality and freedom from discrimination.
He further pointed out that vaccinating approximately 24 million adults who are unvaccinated by the said date would be unrealistic, unachievable and oppressive owing to the short period before the directive takes effect.
On Sunday, November 21, 2021,through a press statement, CS Mutahi Kagwestated that Kenyans who will not have been vaccinated by December 21, will be barred from accessing public transport and other recreational facilities during the Christmas period.
Other services that unvaccinated people will be denied include in-office services to protect government staff from contracting the virus.
“Everybody seeking in-person government services should be fully vaccinated and proof of vaccination availed by December 21, 2021,” stated Kagwe.
The directive attracted the wrath of Kenyans online who termed it as unrealistic and antagonistic.