Lawyer Male Mabirizi has dragged the Kenyan government to court over its recent ban on the importation of Uganda and Tanzanian maize and eggs.
In a suit filed on Thursday morning, Mabirizi avers that the Kenyan government contravened several provisions and principles as enshrined in the protocol for the establishment of the East African Common Market.
“Article 3 states that the common market shall be guided by the fundamental and operational principles of the community as enshrined in Articles 6 and 7 of the treaty to which partner states undertook to observe the principle of non-discrimination of nationals of other member states,”Mabirizi says.
“The establishment of the East African Community Common Market Article 4(1) (2) states that the overall objective of the common market is to widen and deepen cooperation among the partner states not less favourable than the treatment accorded to third parties.”
The maverick lawyer avers that the decision by the Kenyan government breached the principle of non-discrimination, undermined common understanding and cooperation but also amounted to measures aimed at restricting movement of goods and services which are not permitted according to the provisions for the establishment of the East African Community.
Mabirizi wants the East African Court of Justice to issue an order reversing the ban on importation of maize and eggs from Uganda and Tanzania to Kenya but also award him costs.
Mabirizi’s suit however comes at a time when the Kenyan government has lifted the ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania but under strict terms.
According to Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, all importers and exporters shall require registration accompanied with certificates indicating that the level of aflatoxins isn’t exceeding 10%.
Traders importing maize from Uganda to Kenya will also have to present certificate of origin from the counties of produce before getting clearance at the border points.