Court Rules a Stay Order on Shisha Ban in Kenya

  • The High Court has ruled that the ban on smoking shisha is still in force.

    Making the ruling, the judge affirmed that the legal notice issued on December 2017, should still be complied with.

    In his observation, the judge stated that the lives of Kenyans are more important than losses that businessmen stand to incur.

    However, the judge faulted former Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu for not following the constitution while issuing the legal notice. 

    [caption caption="Former Health CS Cleopa Mailu"][/caption]

    The case at the Milimani Law Courts was filed by shisha traders who were challenging the decision by former CS to ban the product's consumption. 

    The applicants had moved to the courts accusing Mailu of irregularly making the decision. 

    However, Justice John Mativo, who listened to the first case, dismissed the traders' plea to lift the ban.

    Justice Mativo then directed them to file the main case and serve the CS and the Attorney-General with court papers before the hearing.

    Affirming their initial notice, the Ministry of Health, through the Director of Public Health Dr Kepha Ombacho, warned Kenyans against claims that the ban had been lifted in February.

    Dr Ombacho stated: "This is to bring to the public knowledge that legal notice No. 188 of 28th December 2017, Shisha Ban in Kenya, is still on and should be complied with in total as was intended from 28th December."

    "Lies that the ban was lifted by our courts are mischievous, unfounded and are not based on facts,” he added. 

    In their legal notice, the ministry had declared: "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 legal notice read.

    [caption caption="Director of Public Health Dr Kepha Ombacho"][/caption]