Leaders of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen and Leader of Minority James Orengo banded together to launch a legal battle against the national assembly.
The two leaders, who had a short face-off over the weekend on Orengo’s plans to impeach Ruto, have found themselves on the same side as they struggle to beat a controversial health bill.
As per a report by the Nation on March 9, 2020, the two, in addition to other senators and the Council of Governors(CoG), moved to court to challenge a law that gave the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) sole mandate to supply drugs to the counties under the Health Laws Amendment Act.
Kenya Medical Supplies Agency CEO Jonah Manjari addresses the media at Sarova Panafric Hotel on April 15, 2019.
The contention that was raised as regards the law was that it introduced a penalty of Ksh 2 million or five years imprisonment or both for any county or national official who sourced drugs outside Kemsa.
The council, in its pleadings, argued that the counties should be allowed to buy drugs and medical supplies from different dealers.
The CoG provided that KEMSA had been failing in its new mandate by delaying delivery of drugs and equipment to the grassroots level.
The contested law came into force in May 2019 sparking the wrath of the senate.
Murkomen, who led the charge against the law, provided that the bill could not be enforced as it had not gone through the due process provided in the constitution. In simpler terms, that it had not gone been agreed upon by both houses of parliament, the national assembly and the senate.
“That is not law for our constitution. That law cannot be enforced anywhere in the republic, because it did not go through the required legal mechanism of passing the law,” stated Murkomen.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen addressing the crowd at the BBI rally in Meru on February 29, 2020..
The case is just one in a list of other contentious bills that the senate vowed to take to court in a supremacy battle with the National Assembly that began in July 2019.
These include: Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Act, the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, Clinical Officers (Training, Registration, and Licensing) Act and the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act.
The current case was heard on March 9, 2020, before a three-judge bench of Justices Jairus Ngaah, Teresiah Matheka and Anthony Ndung’u. It will be mentioned again on May 4.