A Kenyan High Court presided over by Judge Antony Mrima on Tuesday December 14, 2021 put up government order which ban all those who have not been full vaccinated against Covid19 from entering public places and accessing services nationwide. The case against the government was filed by a businessman who termed the directive as “tyrannical” and a gross violation of the constitution. Even though the case is pending hearing, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and some other campaigners in the Eastern African country have disapproved the directive, terming it as discriminatory, while urging the government to abandon the plan, which also requires visitors from Europe to provide proof of full vaccination.
A member of HRW on Tuesday said; “While the government has an obligation to protect its people from serious public health threats, the measures must be reasonable and proportional.” The organization added; “Requiring proof of vaccination to access public services may act as a powerful incentive for people to get vaccinated, but the way it is carried out should also account for the numerous reasons that a person may not be able to receive the vaccine in time,” the rights watchdog added, noting that there was not enough stock to vaccinate all adults before the deadline.
“It is now time to shift our focus from survival to co-existing with the disease,” he said at the time.
Reports says Kenya has fully vaccinated some 12 percent of the adult population, representing only 3.2million people, amidst the government’s target of 10 million by the end of 2021 and 27 million people by the end of 2022.
Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe defended the order on Sunday, saying it was the government’s duty to protect the rights of the vaccinated from exposure to infection.
“This is even more critical with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Experts have warned that it is more infectious than previous forms of the virus,” Kagwe observed.