August 15, 2022
  • The High Court on Wednesday, August 18, declared the order on restriction and prohibition of public gatherings by the National Security Advisory Committee’s (NSAC), as illegal and against the constitution.

    The ruling was made in a case where the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) filed a petition seeking to have the NSAC orders nullified. 

    The High Court agreed with the LSK and found that the NSAC and the Cabinet had breached the constitution by limiting the right to the assembly under the guise of fighting the pandemic. 

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    “A declaration be and is hereby issued that all the directives made by the National Security Advisory Committee on 7th October 2020, and rectified by the cabinet on 8th October 2020 for the use of section 5 of the Public Order Act Cap 56 of the laws of Kenya to contain, restrict, and prohibit public gatherings, meetings, and processions in the name of combating Covid-19 and containing the weaponization of public gatherings are unlawful, unconstitutional, and in violation of Articles 10(2)(a) and 245(2)(b) of the constitution for the directing the law enforcement officers on how to discharge their duties.” read the ruling in part.

    The order also barred Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai from enforcing the orders by NSAC, and prohibited any police officer to carry out the enforcement of the directive.

    The High Court judgment was issued virtually by Justice Mrima. 

    LSK had made the petition as the first petitioner, with the respondents being the Attorney General and the Inspector-General of Police.

    The judgment was signed and delivered on Wednesday, August 18, the same day as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s announcement of the banning of all gatherings.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe.

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