COFEK lawyer Henry Kurauka sitting in a courtroom listening to court directions over the case he filed seeking court order to compel the national carrier Kenya Airways to cancel flights to West African Countries.
BY SAM ALFAN.
High court declined to issue an order to compel the national carrier Kenya Airways to cancel flights to West African Countries.
Justice Isaac Lenaola said that the management of Kenya Airways has to be given time to respond to petition filed by Consumer Federation of Kenya.
He said until the response is filed by KQ the court is inclined to issue the order sought by COFEK.
The consumer body through its lawyer Henry Kurauka had told the court that the national carrier had only stopped flights to two countries living the rest while being aware that virus is likely to spread to other regions.
Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) moved to court seeking to have the National Carrier KQ compelled to suspend its flights to all other West African Countries affected by the Ebola virus.
The consumer body through its Official Stephen Mutoro filed their case under certificate of urgency on Monday claimed the national carrier ( KQ) continued Flights to West Africans isdriven by Commercial interests at the expense of Public safety they told the Court that other International Airlines have Stopped flights to West Africa.
“The respondents contends that the respondents have failed, neglected or refused to act appropriately thus putting the lives of many Kenyans and consumers at risk,” Kurauka Justic Korir,
COFEK’s lawyer Henry Kurauka said that both the Government and the carrier have not put adequate measures to put the highly infectious disease away from the country.
The court heard that the consumer body had written to the KQ managing director Titus Naikuni notifying him to take action in accordance with the findings by the World Health Organization (WHO) but he had not communicated back to them.
The body also sued Cabinet Ministers for health, transport and Interior coordination James Macharia, Michael Kamau and Joseph Ole Lenku are respondents, COFEK said that they had failed to perform their legal mandate and thus should be compelled to halt the flights.
They have also accused the Government of gambling with the lives of Kenyans by Continued Exposure of the Deadly Ebola virus.
Kurauka further told the court that the Government and KQ’s management would have reacted immediately when the World health Organization (WHO) released its classification on countries which have high possibility of transition.
WHO placed Kenya in group two citing that it had a high risk of having the disease spreading due to human traffic from the West African Countries?
“It will be in absolute public interest that Kenya Airways suspends its flights to the West African countries until the disease is contained or it takes full responsibility of anything that will occur linking to the disease,” the court heard.
He added that, the Cabinet secretaries cannot guarantee safety from the disease and thus it should see to it that there is no avenue that the disease can be spread in the country.
Justice Weldon Korir certified the Cofek’s petition as urgent while directing it to serve all respondents in the case. Aside from Kenya Airways, the consumer rights group is also suing Attorney General Githu Muigai, Cabinet Secretary of Transport, Health and the Interior Ministry.
The judge directed that the petition be heard inter parties on 26 August 2014.