Court declines request to summon Health CS Mutahi Kagwe over coronavirus report
The High Court has declined a request to summon Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to present to the court a contingency plan that the government has prepared to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
In the petition, the Law Society of Kenya and two doctors — Dr Joseph Mithika Mwenda Mzalendo and Dr Thiakunu Cyprian Mwirabua — wanted the Health CS to appear in court and submit for scrutiny a plan for prevention, surveillance, control and response to the coronavirus.
Justice Weldon Korir, however, declined the request noting that summoning the CS at the moment would be tantamount to recalling a general or soldier already at the war front.
The judge noted that the report being sought can be prepared by staff at the Health Ministry and submitted via email to the court.
“I decline to summon the CS… We must all appreciate that we are now at war with an enemy unknown to man. The man leading Kenyans in fighting that war is the president mostly supported by the Cabinet Secretary for Health.
“Although what petitioners are trying to achieve through this case is also important in the fight against virus, I do not find it reasonable to call a soldier or a general at the war front to come to court and present a report which can be prepared and filed by his staff,” said Justice Korir.
He directed that the matter be mentioned on March 26 before the duty judge.
The two doctors also want the government directed to disclose the whereabouts of the 239 passengers who arrived in Kenya aboard a China Southern Airlines flight and who the court had directed they be quarantined at a military facility.
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