The High Court in Nairobi has lifted orders that had suspended the importation of over 125,000 metric tons of cheap edible oils by the government which were intentioned to cushion Kenyans due to the high cost of the product.
Judge John Chigiti ruled that the jurisdiction of the court was not properly invoked and even hinted that the court had overstepped .

“The application chambers dated 17 April 2023 is hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction and all consequential orders are discharged,” he ruled.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) moved to court to challenge the decision by government to import duty free edible oils, saying that procedures set by the forth in the constitution were not properly followed.

However the state objected to the case saying that orders issued by the court against importation of the edible oils was injurious to citizens who the government wishes to cushion against the harsh economic environment caused by the ongoing drought in the country.

The state further argued that the importation was not limited to cooking oil, but also foodstuff which included rice, wheat and beans.

The court in lifting the orders barring the importation said that the petitioners failed to demonstrate the source of documents of the departmental circular that they relied on in the petition.

During a court hearing in August, the state told the court that it is at risk of losing over Ksh.17 billion in the next 6 months if the court does not set lift the orders.

“I am satisfied that the case is premature because a court that admits and determines a dispute based on illegally obtained evidence is a court that acts without jurisdiction. The court lacks jurisdiction on that premise and strikes out the suit,” ruled Chigiti.

Justice Chigiti further ruled that LSK cannot be allowed to challenge the government’s decision to allow duty-free oils based on a letter by Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu on January 20 to Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General Githii Mburu with instructions to allow the importation.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *