Judge Holds Hearing Outdoors Over Coronavirus Fears [VIDEO]

  • A judge hears a case outdoors at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
    A judge hears a case outdoors at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
    Twitter
  • Update March 18, 9:55 a.m.: The High Court of Kenya on Tuesday, March 17 issued the first ruling online with the consent of the Parties as a precautionary measure against the spread of Coronavirus.

    "In view of the declaration of measures restricting court of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in light of the directions issued by his lordship, the chief justice on March 15, 2020, this ruling has been delivered to the parties online," the ruling read in part.

    A court ruling issued online by High Court Judge Justice David Majanja on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
    A court ruling issued online by High Court Judge Justice David Majanja on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
    File

    A case at the Milimani Law Courts was on Tuesday, March 17 heard outdoors as part of measures meant to control the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Kenya.

    The case against the directors of a pharmacy found selling fake Covid-19 test kits was heard at the parking lot outside the courtroom with the judge wearing protective white gloves.

    The main doors at Milimani Law Courts remained shut in line with a directive by Chief Justice David Maraga to scale down operations and suspend court sessions as part of the Judiciary's response to the outbreak for two weeks.

    Except for those filing urgent matters, members of the public were not allowed access into the courts from Monday, March 16 with all non-essential staff also sent home.

    Maraga had directed that each court should maintain a staff of three individuals, including a court administrator and court assistant to serve at a customer care desk to attend to urgent filings and inform the duty judge/magistrate accordingly for necessary action.

    In the case heard on March 17, lawyers sought the release of pharmacy's directors on bail.

    Police officers had raided Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa at Yaya Centre, Hurlingham after they advertised supposed Covid-19 test kits for sale.

    A judge hears a case outdoors at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
    A judge hears a case outdoors at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
    Twitter

    The kits were being sold for Ksh 3,000 each, with clients advised to make the payments via mobile money transfer.

    Promotional posters for the kits claimed that one would get their test results within fifteen minutes "for early diagnosis, awareness and to seek out timely medical attention if one was infected".

    It further claimed that only 400 kits were left in stock from the 1,000 that had been shipped to the country; a ploy police believe was meant to create a sense of urgency among potential customers.

    The officers were accompanied by officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council who put workers at the pharmacy on the spot over the advert.

    The council officials demanded that the pharmacy account for the 600 kits that had already been sold if the advertisement was to be believed.

    "When you say you placed an advert before you placed an order, and your advert says only 400 remaining out of  1000 then we believe that you've sold 600.

    "We want to see the procedure that has been used, who has these kits, the 600?" an official posed during the dramatic raid.

    Watch footage from the hearing below courtesy of Citizen TV: