Public Service Head And MOH Sued Over Forced Covid Vaccine On Civil Servants
A process to challenge the directive by the head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua for all civil servants to get the covid-19 jab has begun. In the suit papers filed by a lawyer at the High Court registry in Nakuru, the August 5 directive is said to be infringing on public officers’ right to privacy.
Lawyer Clement Koigi,through lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich,claims Kinyua’s directive amounted to making vaccination compulsory for all public officers. “Every vaccination system that mandates any negative consequence as a result of refusing to carry out a vaccination is ‘compulsory vaccination as these consequences can and are intended to influence one’s decision to get vaccinated,”reads the suit.
The case was filed on 21st at the registry but it is yet to be allocated to a judge for directions. Kinyua, the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Health have been named as respondents in the case.The Federation of Kenya Employers is listed as an interested party in the case.
In the directive, all civil servants are required to have received the jab by August 23. Those who will not have been vaccinated will be considered disciplinary cases and appropriate action will be taken against those who had not received. The memo indicated that some public servants deliberately avoided being vaccinated to stay away from work under the guise of working from home hence having a negative impact on service delivery.
Kinyua had directed all Principal Secretaries and accounting officers to ensure full implementation of the said decision. However, Koigi claims the decision limits the constitutional rights of public officers to life,equality and freedom from discrimination, human dignity, and security of the person as well as privacy.
He says the directive is not based on any law and the limitation is unreasonable and unjustifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.” Additionally, the decision was made unilaterally by Head of Public Service without any public participation, which is in violation of the national values and principles of governance, as enshrined in Article 10 of the Constitution,” the suit papers.
Requiring any public officer to disclose whether they have been vaccinated, Koigi says, will be a violation of the right to privacy. The suit indicates that the decision was neither made by law nor
was the limitation prescribed by any of the laws of Kenya. Further, the limitation did not point out an legitimate aim for the exercise.
Mr Ng’etich claims the decision is unreasonable and no prior notice was given before the same was made. He says not even a single public officer who declines to be vaccinated should be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. “Subjecting a public officer to disciplinary proceedings for refusing to be vaccinated is discrimination, and allowing the said decision to be implemented is allowing the government to overthrow the rights and freedoms of all public officers,” stated Ng’etich.
In the suit, Koigi wants the court to issue orders suspending the implmentation of the decision contained in the letter dated August 5.