Activist Okiya Omtatah wins Covid-19 case against Gov't, travelers to get refunds

High Court rules in favour of Okiya Omatatah

Activist Okiya Omtatah

The High Court of Kenya on Thursday ruled in favour of activist lawyer Okiya Omtatah.

Mr Omtatah had moved to court seeking to have the courts determine whether it was lawful for the government to force travelers to cater for their own quarantine costs in April.

The order was issued by the Ministry of Health while invoking the Public Health Act as a measure to contain the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"There is no power under Section 27 for the government to require persons whom it believes are not accommodated in such a manner as is adequate to guard against the spread of the disease to meet some or any of the costs of providing the required adequate accommodation.

"The government broke the law by failing to ensure the people it had forced into quarantine were adequately accommodated," Omtatah argued.

Justice James Makau ruled that it was illegal and contrary to the Public Health Act for the government to force people into quarantine without obtaining an order from a magistrate's court as required by law.

He further noted that the government violated the rights of those who were forced to go into quarantine after traveling back into the country.

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