The High Court has declared President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ban on political gatherings in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 as illegal and unconstitutional.
The order by Judge Antony Mrima comes after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) moved to court last year to challenge the directive.
Other than political gatherings, the order states that President Uhuru’s prohibition of other social gatherings such as church and funeral functions is illegal.
“…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)(6) and (4) of the Constitution for directing the law enforcement officers on how to discharge their duties,” read the court ruling by Judge Antony Mrima.
During a meeting with Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Gideon Moi (Kanu), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and other officials in the National security team, President Uhuru further extended the ban on political gatherings for another 2 months.
“All physical/in-person public gatherings and meetings, including political rallies and campaign meetings for impending by-elections, are suspended for 60 days,” declared President Uhuru yesterday.
Despite this ban, political activities in the country have been ongoing with politicians selling their manifestos ahead of the 2022 General Election.
After announcing the cancellation of its political rallies weeks ago, the ODM party has scheduled them once more, saying they will adhere to COVID-19 containment measures.
The party had planned a consultative meeting to be held in Homabay County on August 19.
In a press statement on August 18, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna announced that the meeting will go on as planned.
On the other hand, Deputy President William Ruto has been hosting hundreds of political leaders at his Karen residence almost on a daily basis.