Kenya’s High Court has declared as unconstitutional the ‘unreasonable use of force’ by police since a dusk to dawn curfew came into effect in that country on 26 March. The court has also ordered that the authorities must include lawyers and members of the police oversight authorities on the list of those exempt from the provisions of the curfew, established as a response to the coronavirus. The curfew was implemented because the government was reluctant to impose a lockdown as has been the case in a number of other countries.
Kenya’s law society has launched a court application challenging the validity of the country’s Covid-19 restrictions because they have not been approved by parliament. The law society also claims they are invalid because they discriminate against the poor, in that they make wearing masks compulsory while those living in poverty will not be able to afford them. Further, the society argues that the regulations go further than the laws from which they derive their power, will allow. While this application makes its way to a court hearing, an earlier application by the society, also related to contentious Covid-19 restrictions, has been finalised by the high court.
A PROMINENT senior lawyer in Kenya, Professor Tom Odhiambo Ojienda, has persuaded the high court in Nairobi to order that the country’s tax bosses give him a current tax compliance certificate. This despite the Kenya Revenue Authority’s earlier refusal to do so. The tax authorities say the lawyer owes them a lot of money and so they won’t issue the certificate. But Ojienda told the judge he needed the certificate so that he could contest a seat he wants to keep – on Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission, the body that helps select the country’s judges.