NAIROBI, July 24 – The High Court Thursday gave the Attorney General twelve hours to decide who should defend a case filed by a man living with HIV/AIDS.
Justice Joseph Nyamu made the order after the Court was informed that the case could not proceed because the AG was yet to determine which between the Ministries of Medical Services and that of Public Health should respond to the case.
The man moved to court wanting the government forced to implement a law that deals with the management and control of HIV and AIDS.
The man and a local lobby group, Aids Law Project, had sued the Minister for Public Health Beth Mugo seeking to compel her to put into operation the law, aimed at alleviating discrimination and the spread of the disease.
The complainants argued that the law was passed by Parliament and assented to by President Mwai Kibaki on December 30, 2006, but was yet to be executed.
In their application, they argue that unless the court issued an urgent order to the Minister, the law would never come into force and millions of Kenyans would continue to suffer.
In his directive, Justice Nyamu ordered the AG to hastily determine, within the day who between the two ministers ought to respond, based on the urgency of the matter, so that the otherwise grave matter could be heard on July 28.
According to the court papers, it is incumbent on the responsible minister to gazette the commencement date of the Act.
It is stated: “This Act may be cited as the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, 2006 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notice.