Nakuru-based lawyer sues over Covid jab directive

Friday, August 20th, 2021 00:00 |
Clement Koigi (right) has a word with his lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich at the Nakuru Law Courts yesterday. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

A lawyer based in Nakuru has moved to court challenging a directive by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua requiring civil servants to take the Coronavirus jab failure to which disciplinary action will be taken against them.

Through lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich, Clement Koigi said that the order issued by Kinyua was in violation of various sections of the constitution adding that it amounted to discrimination and an affront on privacy rights.

All government workers are required to receive at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine before August 23 or face disciplinary action. 

The petitioner said the government has no legal standing to force its workers to take the vaccine saying such a move was illegal, unconstitutional and amounted to unfair labour practices adding that the orders should be revoked.

He argued some Kenyans were genuinely concerned with the safety of the vaccine saying there have been reports of blood clotting and sudden death in Europe, US and other countries where mass vaccination had been conducted.

Furthermore, the government had not conducted research to determine the status of those who have taken the vaccine adding that every person should be allowed to make their decisions freely as prescribed by the constitution.

“The decision limits the constitutional rights of public officers to life, equality and freedom from discrimination, human dignity, freedom and security of the person, privacy, freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion and fair labour practices,” the petitioner said.

He added that the order was in violation of the constitutional rights and freedoms and “is not based on any law and the limitation is unreasonable and unjustifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.”

Apart from Kinyua, Koigi has enjoined Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki and the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE).

Noting that the government had not shown how those who have not been vaccinated will negatively affect those who had already received the jab, Koigi accused Kinyua of making unilateral decisions saying the matter should have been subjected to public participation.

The matter is now before Labour and Employment Relations court  judge Lady Justice Teresia Matheka, who is expected to give further directions on the matter.

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