SHISHA DEALERS BATTLE WITH CS ENDS IN COURT.

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The instruments used in shisha smoking / photo courtesy.
BY SAM ALFAN.

Fifteen shisha dealers have sued health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu over his decision to ban importation of Shisha.

They want the court to quash the health CS decision banning shisha pending hearing and determination of the case.

Petitioners argue that the users, manufactures, distributors and promoters of Shisha have suffered and continue to suffer due to the legal notice issues on shisha ban.

They claim the notice is erroneous and contravenes the provision of the constitution and discriminative to section of Tobacco users, Manufacturers , distributors and promoters.

They argue that despite being stakeholders in the shisha industry, they were never consulted before the implementation of the said rules.

“The importers, manufacturers , users, sellers, distributors , advertisers, and promoters of shisha product were not given sufficient notice before the gazette notice before the gazzettement of the said impugned legal notice” state documents.

In a petition filed at the high court, the petitioners claim that the CS did not act within his powers when illegalizing the product which include prevention, control and suppression of infectious diseases but not tobacco usage.

They argue that Mailu failed to spell out the diseases that can be attracted, obtained, transmitted or acquired by use of shisha.

The claim that the rules enacted raises fundamental issues of administrative laws on issues of biasness and bad faith.

The dealers further argue that the decision contravenes the provisions of statutory instruments Act which places an obligation on public bodies to involve stakeholders likely to be affected by the implementation of the said rules.

One of the petitioners Kennedy Langat says in his affidavit that he runs a shisha and liquor business in Westlands Nairobi under the name ‘shisha place bar and restaurant’.

“I have the current licenses and duly authorized to carry out shisha business in Nairobi,” reads his affidavit.

He claims he is a stakeholder in the industry but was never consulted before the ban.

Shisha lovers and traders dealt a heavy blow yesterday after the government banned its importation, manufacture, advertising and sale in the country.

Anyone found guilty of the offense will be liable to a fine of sh 50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

The issue raised concern after the Tobacco Control Board raised the alarm over the increasing number of women using it.

Hearing to proceed for further directions.

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