‘Freedom at Last’ as Court Suspends Mpeketoni Curfew
On December 1st last year, the Law Society of Kenya filed a notice of motion asking the court to issue a conservatory order restraining the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney General, Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Defence from imposing a curfew in Lamu and its environs.
The curfew was imposed by former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo in the wake of attacks by the gun men in Mpeketoni, Lamu leaving over 60 people dead, 44 vehicles and 26 buildings burnt.
LSK, through lawyer Anthony Oluoch, submitted that the Inspector General of Police imposed dusk to dawn curfew which it termed as illegal, unconstitutional and punitive.
Subjecting residents to human indignity
LSK argued that the curfew breaches several Articles of the constitution as the people of Lamu have been denied their rights to economic well being.
Oluoch observed that tourism, which is the main economic activity in the area, has been affected adversely by the curfew.
The counsel said that the daily 12 hours of curfew was subjecting the people of Lamu to human indignity.
He further said that the curfew breaches the principle of proportionality as the lengthy period of curfew is unfair.
The defence contended that the curfew in Lamu was constitutional and asked the court not to give conservatory orders.
Justice Juma Chitembwe, in his ruling, termed the extension of the curfew as unlawful and contrary to the spirit and intent of the law.
The judge said that security cannot be maintained by imposition of a curfew for over a year in any part of Kenya.