Shisha was banned after findings showed that consumption of the product is linked to heroin.
That apart from its harmful effects, “other drugs are being consumed under the disguise of Shisha,” the State sensationally told a trial court in Nairobi.
The State, through its lawyers, says the ban was effected to suppress infectious diseases related to water pipe smoking and arising from consumption of the product.
Shisha investors have been bracing for legal showdown in court concerning the ban. Watch video below:
The court heard that in such circumstances, commercial interests should not override greater public interest who stand to suffer the greatest prejudice if they are exposed to the dangers of the “substance.”
Shisha dealers launched a double-pronged objection against the decision, saying they were neither consulted nor given adequate grace period to clear stocks. Click link below:
Justice Roslyn Aburili was told that the ban is hinged on a section of the Public Health Act which allows the CS to flex his administrative muscles “whenever any part of Kenya appears to be threatened by an epidemic…”
The court was told the ban aims to prevent, control and suppress infectious diseases.
Corruption of the product
It further heard that the ban was also necessitated by the corruption of the product linking it to heroin.
Judge Aburili was told the law places an obligation on the government to promote and guarantee high standards of health.
The State further dented the Shisha investors case which seeks to overturn the ban on grounds that the CS acted beyond his powers and the limitations of the law.
It faulted the dealers for failing to table documentary evidence that they are licensed to manufacture, sell and import Shisha, alluding that the business has been going on illegally and that there was nothing in court to show the number of employees and the billions of shillings invested in the Shisha industry.
The court was told the greatest prejudice would be- to expose members of the public to the danger of the substance if the ban is suspended.
Shisha investors say the law was violated when their interests were not taken into account as they were not consulted.
They say it is a multi-billion dollar industry employing over 30,000 Kenyans.
They have asked the court to find that there should have been need to give them sufficient grace period and had a legitimate expectation that their interest, read investments, should have been considered- people have bought stocks, they said.
Shisha investors say the CS made a one-day unilateral arbitrary decision irrespective of their rights.
The court on January 15 2018 will give a ruling on whether to stay the ban.