Gov’t To Appeal Court Ruling Exempting Lawyers, IPOA From Curfew Restrictions

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i / Courtesy

The government will challenge the High Court’s ruling that allowed members of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to be included in the list of essential service providers in the wake of the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

In a notice of appeal filed on Friday, the government says it is dissatisfied with the ruling that was made by Justice Weldon Korir on Thursday.

Justice Korir had directed the Ministry of Interior to exempt the groups from the restrictions of the 7pm to 5am curfew.

The Judge directed Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to amend the list of essential service providers within five days.

“An order of mandamus is issued compelling the 2nd Respondent to amend, within five days from the date of this judgement, the Schedule to the Public Order (State Curfew) Order, 2020 so as to include the 3rd Interested Party (IPOA) and the members of the Petitioner [LSK] in the list of “services, personnel or workers” exempted from the provisions of the Public Order (State Curfew) Order, 2020,” the judge ruled.

Read: Interior Ministry Given 5 Days to Add Lawyers, IPOA Members To List Of Essential Service Providers

In the petition, LSK argued that it is necessary for defenders and upholders of the rule of law to be extra vigilant whenever the State exercises emergency powers.

The society also protested the excessive use of force by the police implementing the curfew and asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional.

Justice Korir, however, declined to suspend the curfew directive as requested by LSK but noted that the use of excessive force by the police is unconstitutional.

“I, therefore, decline to agree with the petitioner (LSK) that a curfew order cannot be used to address a public health emergency. I did not hear any submission that a curfew order is not appropriate in the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. I, however, heard some of the parties argue in support of the petition that the Curfew Order should have been issued under the PHA,” the Judge said.

Read Also: Officer Attached To Presidential Escort Unit Arrested For Violating Curfew Orders

Here is a full list of the other services classified as essential:

1. Medical professionals and health workers
2. National security, administration and co-ordination officers
3. Public Health and sanitation officers in the county governments
4. Licensed pharmacies and drug stores
5. Licensed broadcasters and media houses
6. Kenya Power
7. Food dealers, distributors, wholesalers and transporters of farm produce
8. Licensed supermarkets, mini-markets and hypermarkets
9. Licensed distributors and retailers of petroleum and oil products and lubricants
10. Licensed telecommunication operators and service providers
11. Licensed banks, financial institutions and payment financial services
12. Fire brigade and other emergency response services
13. Licensed security firms

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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