Court Orders Issued Amid Finance Bill Protests

Following the ongoing demonstrations that have been driven by widespread discontent with the proposed Finance Bill 2024, a number of Court Orders have been issued. These are two of them.

A High Court order related to case number HCCHRPET/E305/2024 has been issued by Justice E.C. Mwita at the Milimani  Law Courts in Nairobi. The order responds to a petition filed by Frank John Githiaka, Brian Ngula and eleven others against the National Intelligence Service, the Inspector General of Police and three other respondents.

During the protests, there have been widespread reports that protesters are being abducted and held incommunicado (without being allowed any communication with the outside world). The petitioners have gone to Court because they believe that the constitutional rights of the abductees are being violated.

Justice Mwita’s order acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations. It certifies the urgency of the petition and mandates the immediate and unconditional release of the petitioners still being held. It also issues an Interim Conservatory measure to prevent further abductions while ensuring the protection of peaceful protestors from being held incommunicado. Additionally, the respondents or their representatives have to appear in Court on the 28th of June to confirm compliance with the Court.

Law Society of Kenya vs Defence Secretary Aden Duale

Another High Court Order related to case number HCCHRPET/E307/2024 concerns a legal challenge brought by the Law Society of Kenya against the State Law and the Cabinet Secretary for Defence, among others. This Court Order has been issued by Justice L.N Mugambi.

The Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale authorized the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in a gazette notice on the 25th of June. The military is being deployed to assist the police during the ongoing protests. The LSK’s Chief Executive Officer Florence Muturi has said in an affidavit that they have challenged CS Duale’s decision because they feel that the move can be considered to be an attempt by the government to muzzle, intimidate, frustrate or curtail the citizens’ right to peacefully protest against the government, a right that is guaranteed under article 37 of the constitution. Ms Muturi also said that the military are not professionally trained to deal with internal security matters that involve civilians.

Justice Mugambi has directed that the application and the petition be served immediately to the Attorney General Justin Muturi, CS Duale and the other respondents. A virtual oral hearing has been scheduled for the 27th of June 2024. Non compliance with the Court’s directives will result in penal consequences.

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