Justice Weldon Korir of the High Court has declined to summon CS Health Mutahi Kagwe to explain measures the government has taken to address the coronavirus pandemic.
In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir said he did not find it reasonable to “call a soldier, a general at the war front to come to court and present a report which can be prepared and filed by his staff”.
“We must all appreciate that we are now at war and the man leading Kenyans in fighting that war is the President mostly supported by the Cabinet Secretary. Although what petitioners are trying to achieve through this case is also important in the fight against the virus,” Korir said.
He issued the orders after the Law Society of Kenya through lawyer Dudley Ochiel sought to have Kagwe summoned for failing to present in court a contingency plan for the pandemic.
Ochiel said it’s been two weeks since the orders were issued yet the government has not complied.
Justice James Makau on February 28 compelled the state to prepare and present a plan on prevention, surveillance, control and response systems for scrutiny.
The government was also ordered to trace, account, re-examine, confine and quarantine in a KDF facility all the 239 passengers it let into the country aboard a Chinese flight on February 26. That is also yet to be complied with.
But on Thursday, Korir – who conducted the proceedings under a tree within Milimani court’s parking lot – directed the state to find the passengers before the next mention date on Thursday next week.
The first coronavirus case was recorded in the country on March 13. Two days later, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced two more cases and unveiled measures to stop the spread of the virus.
The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya hit seven on Wednesday.
The President suspended learning at all levels and encouraged businesses and government offices to close all non-essential services.
Globally, the virus has infected more than 225,000 people and killed at least 9,200, according to the World Health Organization. Almost 84,000 people have recovered.
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