Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has five days to amend the list of essential services and personnel exempted from the 7 pm to 5 am coronavirus curfew.
The High Court, while ruling on the alleged unconstitutionality of the curfew on Thursday, directed the Interior Ministry to include lawyers and IPOA officers on the list.
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had asked the court to suspend the curfew or extend it to start at 10 pm. The lawyers also sought orders compelling the government to come up with proper guidelines for the curfew, quarantine and containment of the virus.
In his judgement, Justice Weldon Korir declined to declare the curfew illegal. He also said he was not convinced that there was a need to issue special guidelines for the curfew order.
“The challenge appears to be the implementation of the law already in place. Directing that other regulations be formulated and issued on top of what is already in place will not solve the underlying problem,” he said.
Judge Korir additionally cautioned the police force that unreasonable use of force in enforcing the curfew is unconstitutional.
“Diseases are not contained by visiting violence on members of the public. One cannot suppress or contain a virus by beating up people,” he said.
“The National Police Service must be held responsible and accountable for violating the rights to life and dignity among other rights.”
Here’s a list of personnel/services that have been classified as essential:
- Medical professionals and health workers
- National security, administration and co-ordination officers
- Public Health and sanitation officers in the county governments
- Licensed pharmacies and drug stores
- Licensed broadcasters and media houses
- Kenya Power
- Food dealers, distributors, wholesalers and transporters of farm produce
- Licensed supermarkets, mini-markets and hypermarkets
- Licensed distributors and retailers of petroleum and oil products and lubricants
- Licensed telecommunication operators and service providers
- Licensed banks, financial institutions and payment financial services
- Fire brigade and other emergency response services
- Licensed security firms