The Court of Appeal has ruled the tough regulatory sanctions imposed by the government on cigarette manufacturers and importers are reasonable and justified.
The three-Judge bench held that the Health ministry regulations satisfied statutory and constitutional requirements since their enactment was preceded by exhaustive consultations with all tobacco industry players and public participation.
The Appellate bench upheld the decision made on March 24, last year, by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi giving the greenlight to the Health ministry to fully implement the legal provisions. The pronouncement was lauded by the chairman of the Kenya Tobacco Control Board, Prof Peter Odhiambo, the chairman of the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance, Joel Gitali and the director of Public Health, Dr Kepha Ombacho.
“The Regulations and the Tobacco Act are neither unconstitutional nor unlawful. They do not unlawfully violate any rights of BAT, Mastermind Tobacco or the tobacco industry players. In cases where the regulations or the Act limits the rights of the industry players, the same is reaso
nable and justified in accordance with Article 24 of the Constitution,” Appellate Judges Hannah Okwengu, Festus Azangalala and Fatuma Sichale said in their 44-page judgment read on Friday by Justice Jamila Mohamed.