A civil society organisation (CSO), Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) yesterday accused the national carrier of putting its commercial interest first before public health safety by not suspending its flight to Nigeria and Ghana.
The organisation wants the High Court to compel Kenya Airways to suspend its flights to the remaining two Ebola-stricken countries.
According to reports from ThisDAY, before High Court judge, Weldon Korir, COFEK’s lawyer Henry Kurauka, according to Kenyan Online, said both the government and the carrier have not put adequate measures in place to put the highly infectious disease away from the country.
“The respondents contends that the respondents have failed, neglected or refused to act appropriately thus putting the lives of many Kenyans and consumers at risk,” Kurauka told the court.
The court heard that the consumer group had written to the KQ Managing Director, Titus Naikuni, notifying him to take action in accordance with the findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but he had not communicated back to them. [eap_ad_1] In the case where cabinet Ministers for Health, Transport and Interior Coordination, James Macharia, Michael Kamau and Joseph Ole Lenku are respondents, COFEK said they had failed to perform their legal mandate and thus should be compelled to halt the flights. “There is extreme anxiety about possibility of Ebola virus spread. The disease has no cure,” he said.
Kurauka said that both the government and KQ’s management would have reacted immediately when WHO released its classification on countries which have high possibility of transition.
WHO placed Kenya in group two citing that it had a high risk of having the disease spreading due to human traffic from the West African countries.
“It will be in absolute public interest that Kenya Airways suspends its flights to the West African countries until the disease is contained or it takes full responsibility of anything that will occur linking to the disease,” the court heard.
In the application, the Stephen Mutoro-led group said the government should be consulting the public when arriving at decisions that directly affect them.
“The cabinet secretaries cannot guarantee safety from the disease and thus it should see to it that there is no avenue that the disease can be spread in the country,” he said.
Justice Korir certified the case as urgent and ordered that the applicant should serve the respondents and case be mentioned on Wednesday before a duty judge.
Kenya Airways last week suspended commercial flight operations to Liberia and Sierra Leone temporarily in which this was to be effected from Tuesday but left out Ghana and Nigeria.