Shisha ban: Court says CS ignored the law but upholds new rules


In December 28, 2017, CS Mailu banned the sale and smoking of shisha in Kenya. Photo/COURTESY
In December 28, 2017, CS Mailu banned the sale and smoking of shisha in Kenya. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Justice Roselyn Aburili however noted that the former CS did not follow the constitution when he issued a legal notice banning the smoking of Shisha.
  • In the ban Kenya became the third in the region, after Tanzania and Rwanda, to outlaw water-pipe tobacco in less than two years.
  • The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has since raided several night clubs said to be flouting operation regulations.

The High Court in Nairobi has declined to set aside the Shisha ban by former Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.

In her ruling on Thursday, Justice Roselyn Aburili said the court cannot afford to gamble with people’s lives.

She however noted that the former CS did not follow the Constitution when he issued the legal notice banning the smoking of shisha.

Justice Roselyn Aburili further noted that CS Mailu also failed to indicate to the court his intentions to table the legal notice before Parliament for debate.

The court also observed that CS Mailu did not involve public and stakeholders in the Shisha business.

“Fair administrative action is a right guaranteed in the constitution,” ruled Justice Aburili.

The court however ruled that there was no evidence before to show that shisha business is unlicensed.

The judge directed that the Ministry complies with the rules within 9 months.

This comes after Shisha dealers moved to court seeking suspension of the ban which they argue caused unemployment and loss of income.

In December 28, 2017, CS Mailu banned the sale and smoking of shisha in Kenya.

He warned that anyone found guilty of contravening the new rules would be “liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh.50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.”

The move made Kenya the third country in the region, after Tanzania and Rwanda, to outlaw water-pipe tobacco in less than two years.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has since raided several night clubs said to be flouting the regulations.

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