Cleopha Mailu Taken to Milimani Law Courts for Banning Shisha

Shisha traders on Friday moved to court to challenge a decision by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu banning its consumption.

The applicants moved to Milimani Law Courts accusing the CS of irregularly making the decision through a notice issued on Thursday afternoon.

Through their lawyer Hosea Matundura, the applicants complained that the legal notice was erroneous and could lead to job losses.

CS Mailu has now been sued over the ban which the petitioners claim is a contravention of rights and freedoms.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health made shisha smoking, importation and advertising in Kenya illegal in a statement that received mixed reactions from Kenyans.

[caption caption="The legal notice"][/caption]

Director of Medical Services, Jackson Kioko, later confirmed that the new regulations will now take effect immediately.

“No person shall import, manufacture, sell, offer for sale, use, advertise, promote or distribute shisha in Kenya.”

“No person shall allow, promote, facilitate or encourage or do anything to allow, promote, facilitate or encourage shisha smoking in Kenya,” the notice read.

The notice quickly spread on social media with a majority of netizens supporting the move while others bashed the government for interfering with their “rights”.

However, the Cabinet Secretary explained that the document wasn’t the final one as they were discussing with Attorney General Githu Muigai on developing a legislation on that.

The highly toxic tobacco substance is smoked using a hookah (water pipe) and had gained popularity at entertainment joints in Kenya over the last year.

[caption caption="Shisha pots"][/caption]

Kenya is the third country to ban the smoking of the substance, that has been described as highly addictive after Rwanda and Tanzania earlier on issued a similar order.

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