Tourism CS, Najib Balala has said that the Health Ministry’s move to ban shisha was ‘miscalculated.’
According to the CS, shisha is globally accepted and instead of banning it, the government should have taxed it instead.
In fact, he added, the ban will hurt the economy as will the recent closure of night clubs by the county government and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
Balala accused NEMA of closing the night clubs after ‘failing to regulate issues.’
”You do your job, we will support; but you don’t wake up overnight and ban shisha or start closing clubs. The whole world has shisha, why ban it in Kenya? If we have issues of health, put a tax. Why don’t you ban cigarettes? Why don’t you ban alcohol? I am not a smoker so I am not defending shisha smokers,” he said.
”You don’t wake up overnight and close down some investments just because of your failure in enforcing rules,” he added.
Outgoing Health CS, Cleopa Mailu in December 2017 banned the importation, manufacturing, sale, use, advertisement, promotion and distribution of shisha in the country.
In a legal notice dated December 27, ex-CS Mailu indicated that anyone who will be found guilty of contravening the control of shisha smoking rules, where no penalty is expressly provided for such offense, will be ‘liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh50, 000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both and, if the offense, contravention or default is of a continuing nature, to a further fine not exceeding Ksh1, 000 for each day it continues.’
Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your news TIPS to firstname.lastname@example.org