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No giving up on Security Laws, government says

24 February 2015, 09:33 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu has said the government will either appeal or modify the sections of the Security Laws Act that were declared unconstitutional and return them to Parliament.  

Esipisu said the government continues to maintain that the 8 clauses struck down by the High Court were necessary in its efforts to keep Kenya safe. 

“As such, it is studying the implications of the ruling to determine whether to appeal or to return the clauses to Parliament with the necessary modifications,” he said in a statement.

He said the court upheld a vast majority of the clauses of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 enacted by Parliament and signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta in December last year.

"The Government respects the decision of the court and notes that this was a large Bill with many provisions. The court’s decision left intact more than 90 per cent of it. In doing so, the court also confirmed the need for comprehensive legal mechanisms to address security challenges that Kenya faces,” he said.

He said the amendments were a response to the shifting security requirements needed to keep Kenyans safe, while upholding the civil rights enshrined in the Constitution. 

Also read: Security Law is illegal and unconstitutional, High Court says

“As such, it joined Kenya to the long list of democracies that have been updating their security laws to better ensure the safety of citizens from terrorist and criminal organisations that operate with increasing sophistication and brutality,” he said.

Esipisu said the government remains committed to the war against terrorist and criminal organisations, and will do everything, and use every arsenal at its disposal, to keep safe all those who live in Kenya.

Meanwhile, the Cord coalition congratulated the High Court on ruling saying the court largely agreed with it on principles of law.

In a statement, the coalition leader Raila Odinga said the court asserted its responsibility to protect human rights in its ruling.

“Although the court has not agreed with us with on a few statements of facts particularly regarding how this law was passed, we still congratulate the court for standing up for the Constitution,” he said.

He said they will seek a second opinion in the appellate courts on areas where the court did not agree with them.He congratulated the courts for the statement of the law regarding its own power and protection of civil liberties particularly in respect of freedom of the media on which the court said media should be freed to safeguard the country’s democracy.

“I thank all Cord legislators who opposed the passage of these laws, some of whom have had to pay with suspension from the House where they represent their voters simply because they stoop up against potentially bad laws and reemergence of dictatorship,” he said.

He said they will continue to fight hard to defend the constitution even if they are outnumbered in the National Assembly and the Senate.

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