Lawyer Stephen Ligunya for a lobby group, two Persons living with HIV-AIDS and children’s inside a courtroom at Milimani law courts.
BY SAM ALFAN.
A lobby group has moved to court to challenge directive issued by President Kenyatta on February 23 to have data on all persons living with HIV/AIDS collected.
Uhuru directed county commissioners for accounting purposes by the government to have data on all persons living with HIV/AIDS collected and forwarded to his office within 90 days.
A lobby group, two Persons living with HIV-AIDS and children’s home state that the directive if implemented will interfere with the people with HIV/AIDS rights to privacy as enshrined in the constitution.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi certified the matter urgent and directed that the application be served upon the respondents for inter parties hearing on Tuesday morning for further directions.
President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive on February 23 to all County Commissioners, Health Cabinet Secretary, Education Cabinet Secretary and Interior Cabinet Secretary to collect up-to-date data and prepare a report on all school going children living with HIV/aids, information on their guardians, information on a number of expectant mothers who are HIV Positive and breastfeeding mothers who are HIV Positive.
According to the four petitioners be a Nairobi court by Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV/AIDS, Children of God Relief Institute and two persons living with HIV/AIDS, says Uhuru directive would directly link the names of the aforementioned persons and their HIV status.
The petitioner claims that the method of collection of data under the said directive is prejudicial to the rights of persons living with HIV and it violates the law.
They said despite receiving numerous advisory notes from the National Human Rights Institutions, Networks of Persons Living with HIV and Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV/AIDS (KLENH); the Health Ministry, National Aids Control Council and the Attorney General have failed to advice the President on the unconstitutionality of the directive.
The petitioners said that unless the directive is recalled and new guidance is given by the President, the respondents and their agents or other state officers will still pursue the process and will be settling an unconstitutionality precedent.
Through their Lawyer Stephen Ligunya, the four petitioners states that the directive violates the rules of natural Justice by condemning the petitioners and those interest they represent to an execute directive that is likely to violate their constitutional rights without hearing them.
“The directive is not constitutional as it is not keeping with the principles of good governance enshrined in the constitution which include accountability, public participation and transparency,” said Ligunya.
The petitioners want the court to declare the directive by the president as null and void and also a breach of the petitioners’ constitutional rights.
They also want the court to declare that the actions of the respondents in relation to the directive violate the fundamental rights and freedom of the petitioners and the persons they represent.
Additionally, the petitioners want an order compelling all the respondents to destroy all data in their possession, collected as a result of the directive within 14 days.
They also want the court to issue an order to all the respondents to issue a circular to their employees informing them that the directive is unconstitutional and null and void.
The four petitioners also want an order directing the respondents to file an affidavit in the court detailing pit their compliance within 90 days.