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The Way Forward in Ensuring Healthy Lives and Well-being for All Kenyans



By Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya)*

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights CESCR General Comment No. 14: The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health affirms that the realization of the right to health may be pursued through numerous, complementary approaches, such as the formulation of health policies, or the implementation of health programmes developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), or the adoption of specific legal instruments. This is an outlines of some recommendations that can help Kenya get closer to ensuring that all its citizens enjoy healthy lives and general well-being.

Addressing the Socioeconomic Factors that Affect Right to Health in Kenya

Given that the health status of any population is not independent of the socioeconomic status of the group of people in question. Studies, although some contentious, have established a relation between health and other factors such as poverty, income and education, among others. It is however acknowledged that these factors do not work in isolation even in their influence on health-genetics also may play a role in an individual’s vulnerability or resilience to socioeconomic adversity. There is a need for the Government to continually address abject poverty that afflicts huge parts of the Kenyan population as children growing up in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods face greater direct physical challenges to health status and health-promoting behaviours; they also often experience emotional and psychological stressors, such as family conflict and instability arising from chronically inadequate resources. The realization of these socio-economic factors is also closely related to the realization of the right to dignity as guaranteed under Article 28 of the Constitution which provides that; “Every person has an inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

Multisectoral Approach and Collaboration among Different Stakeholders

While continued investment on improving the health sector in the country is a commendable move, ‘in order to achieve equity in health and access to care, such efforts must be paralleled by multisectoral approaches to address all key drivers of inequity: persistent poverty, disparities in living standards and educational achievement, as well as regional differences in availability and accessibility of care’. Under the current Constitution of Kenya, primary health care provision is a shared responsibility between the national and county governments. The county governors ought to prioritize delivery of a better healthcare system to citizens through a deliberate cohesive approach to Universal Healthcare (UHC) between the central government and the counties in order to achieve desired outputs within a short time. The collaboration should however go beyond provision of healthcare services to tackling the challenges that hinder enjoyment of the right to heath care by all, such as persistent poverty, disparities in living standards and educational achievement, as well as regional differences in availability and accessibility of care’. There must be better coordination between the government, private and faith or NGO institutions especially in relation to specialist care and other empowerment programmes.

Strict Regulation of Private Health Care Providers

Due to socio-economic inequalities, the private sector primarily serves wealthier individuals, whereas those from poorer households more commonly rely on public care providers or use lower standard, often unlicensed, private care facilities. Reports show there are many health facilities that are not registered or licensed and were therefore operating illegally. It also follows that a huge number of the poor sections of the general population has either suffered loss or obtained substandard medical attention. There is a need for the relevant Regulatory boards such as the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, the Nursing Council, the Clinical Officers Council, Laboratory Board, Radiation Board and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to crack the whip and weed out all these illegal facilities in a bid to protect the health and well-being of the Kenyan populace.

Affordable and Sustainable Health Insurance Cover in Kenya

COVID-19 disease pandemic has exposed the challenges of health care financing in the country, especially with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) declining to fund treatment for its members who contract the disease, with the exception of civil servants, police and prisons service. Notably, even the private insurers declined to cover the cost of treating COVID-19 cases thus complicating the problem further. While the NHIF has been expanding in coverage areas and the target population, the failure or inability to cover COVID-19 cases has demonstrated all the more the urgent need for the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all. Recent studies have concluded that ‘Through its focus on increasing affordability of care for all Kenyans, the newly launched universal health coverage scheme represents a crucial step towards reducing disparities in health care utilization.’

There is a need for financial investment and political goodwill towards ensuring that the UHC is realised for all Kenyans to benefit, both rich and poor. UHC might be more stable than the employment based health financing as a source of health revenue, because employment based health financing is unstable, fragmented, and inequitable, particularly during economic crises as evidenced during the covid-19 pandemic where many people lost access to employment linked healthcare because of a job loss in the family. Medical care should however also be made generally affordable. In Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa v. Tshabalala-Msimang, South African High Court held that ‘access to health care services required services to be both physically accessible and affordable, and acknowledged that prohibitive pricing of medicines may amount to a denial of access.

Improved Working Conditions for Health workers in Kenya

Job satisfaction and working atmosphere are considered to be important for optimal health care delivery. In the face of frequent strikes by health workers in Kenya, there is a need for the national government and the county governments to work closely with all the stakeholders and health workers’ unions’ leaders to address the challenges of limited career opportunities, insufficient workforce, and low remuneration in order to curb the risk of the health care staff migrating to other countries as well as also within countries such as from public hospitals to private ones. This should be done as part of ensuring that Kenyans are guaranteed access to health care services and wellbeing.  Even as the national and county governments continually invest in health infrastructure and facilities under the UHC programmes, there is a need for the investment in infrastructure to be done simultaneously with that in human capital, competent and well-trained personnel to handle the equipment and patients in these facilities. Even as the Government of the Republic of Kenya continue to hire foreign doctors and in particular doctors from Cuba to work in Kenyan public medical facilities, there is need for capacity building within the local medical health workers.

Investment in Advanced medical technologies: The Viability of Medical Tourism

A working health system is not only capable of ensuring that the citizens enjoy healthy lives and well-being, but is also capable of earning some extra income for the government through what is now commonly known as ‘medical tourism’, defined as the travel of people to a place other than where they normally reside for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment in that country. India has emerged as one of the countries that have heavily invested in medical tourism. Medical tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that has been heavily promoted by governments and the medical and tourism industries for the potential mutual benefits. Medical tourism, however, should not be pursued at the expense of the poor in the country: The Government should ensure that the general populace in the country can access health care services before it seeks to extend the same to the foreigners. Kenya should consider going the Cuban way where, Cuba, which has been a pioneer in medical tourism for almost four decades, has hospitals for Cuban residents and others for foreigners and diplomats. Both kinds are run by the government and Cubans receive free healthcare for life while tourists have to pay for it.


The right to health is not an isolated right, it is not only forms the basis for the realization and enjoyment of other rights but it also requires the implementation and protection of other human rights for its full enjoyment. While Kenya has made commendable steps towards ensuring that its citizens enjoy healthy lives and general well-being, there is still a lot that requires to be done. This calls for multisectoral approach and cooperation between stakeholders to ensure that the same is realized. Any nation that seeks to develop must first invest in the health of its people. A healthy population is a wealthy population. Ensuring Healthy Lives and Well-being for all Kenyans is a vital Sustainable Development goal that should be attained at the earliest.

*This is article is an extract from an article by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD Muigua, K., “Ensuring Healthy Lives and Well-being for All Kenyans,” Available at: Dr. Kariuki Muigua is Kenya’s foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Africa Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates. Dr. Muigua is recognized as one of the leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts by the Chambers Global Guide 2021 and nominated as ADR Practitioner of the Year (Nairobi Legal Awards) 2021. 


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News & Analysis

Former KCB Company Secretary Sues Over Unlawful Dismissal




Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania who has sued the Bank for Unlawful Dismissal

Former KCB Group Company Secretary Joseph Kamau Kania has sued the lender seeking reinstatement or be compensated for illegal sacking almost three years ago. Lawyer Kania was the KCB Group company secretary until restructuring of the lender in 2021 that saw some senior executives dropped.

Through the firm of Senior Counsel Wilfred Nderitu, Kamau wants the court to order KCB Group to unconditionally reinstate him to employment without altering any of the contractual terms until his retirement in December 2025.

In his court documents filed before Employment and Labour Relations Court, the career law banker seeks the court to declare the reorganization of the company structure a nullity and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution. He further wants the court to declare that the position of Group Company Secretary did not at any time cease to exist within the KCB Group structure.

He further urged the Employment Court to declare that the recruitment and appointment of Bonnie Okumu, his former assistant, as the Group Company Secretary, in relation to the contemporaneous termination of his employment, was unprocedural, insufficient and inappropriate to infer a lawful termination of his employment.

“A declaration that the factual and legal circumstances of the Petitioner’s termination of employment were insufficient and inappropriate to infer a redundancy against him, and that any redundancy declared by the KCB Group in relation to him was therefore null, void and of no legal effect and amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.

Kamau says he was subjected to discriminatory practices by the KCB Bank Group in violation of his fundamental right to equality and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed in Article 27 of the Constitution and the termination of his employment was unfair, unjustified, illegal, null and void.

Lawyer Kamau further seeks the court to declare that the Non-Compete Clause in the 2016 Contract is unenforceable by the KCB Group as against him and is voidable by him as against the Bank ab initio, byreason of the termination of the Petitioner’s employment having been a violation of Articles 41(1) and 47(1) and (2) of the Constitution, and of the Employment Act.

He also wants the Employment Court to find that finding that KCB’s group legal representation by Messrs of Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates law firm in respect of his claim for unlawful termination of employment resulted in a clear conflict of interest by reason of the fact that a Founding and Senior Partner at the said firm lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga is also the Chairman of the CBK’s Board of Directors.

“A Declaration that the circumstances of KCB’s legal representation by Messrs. Mohammed Muigai LLP Advocates resulted in a violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to have the employment dispute decided independently and impartially, as guaranteed in Article 50(1) of the Constitution,” seeks lawyer Kamau.

Kamau is seeking damages against both KCB Group and Central Bank of Kenya jointly and severally for the violation of his constitutional and fundamental right to fair labour practices.

He wants  further wants court to declare that CBK is liable to petitioner on account of its breach of statutory duty to effectively regulate KCB Group to ensure that KCB complied with the Central Bank of Kenya Prudential Guidelines and all other Laws, Rules, Codes and Standards, and that, as an issuer of securities, it complied with capital markets legislation.

Kamau through his lawyer Nderitu told the court that he was involved in Shareholder engagement in introducing the Group aide-mémoire that significantly improved the management of the Annual General Meetings, including obtaining approval without voting through the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Kenya Commercial Bank Limited among others.

He said that during his employment at KCB Bank Kenya and with the KCB Group, he initially worked well with former KCB CEO Joseph Oigara until 2016 when the CEO allegedly started sidelining him by removing the legal function from his reporting line.

He further claims he was transferred from the Group’s offices at Kencom House to its offices Upper Hill under the guise that the Petitioner was merely to support the KCB Group Board.

He adds that at that point his roles were given to Okumu for reasons that were not related to work demands.  He stated that Oigara at one time proposed that he should leave his role in the KCB Group and go and serve as the Company Secretary of the National Bank of Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of the Group, a suggestion which he disagreed with to Oigara’s utter annoyance.

Kamau stated that his work was thenceforth unfairly discredited, leading to his being taken through a disciplinary process whose intended outcome failed miserably, and the Petitioner was vindicated.

“More specifically, the Petitioner contends that the purported creation of a new organizational structure towards the end of 2020 was in fact Oigara’s orchestration targeted to remove certain individuals by requiring them to undergo interviews in the pretext that new roles were created, and amounted to a further violation of the Petitioner’s fundamental right to fair labour practices under Article 41(1) of the Constitution,” said in his court documents.

He further adds that this sham reorganization demonstrates how the role of the KCB Group Company Secretary purportedly ceased to be and was then very briefly replaced with a new role of the KCB Group General Counsel. The role of KCB Group Company Secretary then ‘resurfaced’ immediately thereafter, in total violation of legal and regulatory requirements.

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Court of Appeal Upholds Eviction of Radcliffes from Karen Land




Adrian Radcliffe, the Expatriate Squatter, Evicted from Karen Property by Innocent Purchaser for Value

The Court of Appeal has stayed the decision of the Environment and Land Court purporting to reinstate Adrian Radcliffe into possession of the 5.7 Acre Karen Land by Kena Properties Ltd after eviction by the lawful owners in February 2022. Adrian Radcliffe who was evicted by Kena Properties Ltd, the innocent purchaser of the Land for value.

Before his eviction, Mr. Radcliffe had been living on the land as a squatter expatriate for 33 years without paying any rent. Since he moved into the property as a tenant, he only paid deposit for the land in August 1989 despite corresponding severally with the owner of the land. His attempt to acquire the land by adverse possession claim filed in 2005 was dismissed by Court in 2011 on the basis that he has engaged with the owner of the land July 1997 and agreed to buy the land which he failed to do. The High Court [Justice Kalpana Rawal as she then was] concluded that:

“His [Mr. Adrian Radcliffe] averments that he did not have any idea of the whereabouts of the Defendant and that he could possibly be not alive, were not only very sad but mala fide in view of the correspondence on record addressed by him to the Defendant’s wife. I would thus find that the averments made by him to the contrary are untrue looking to the facts of this case.”

On 10th March 2022, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe and Family purported to obtain court orders for reinstatement into the land. However, the Court of Appeal issued an interim stay of execution of the said orders. The Court of Appeal has now granted the application of Kena Properties Ltd and stayed the execution of the Environment and Land Court Order pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal.

The Court also stayed the proceedings at the Environment and Land Court on the matter during the pendency of the Appeal. In effect, the eviction orders issued by the Chief Magistrate Court for eviction of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe in favour of Kena Properties as the purchaser of the property for value were upheld and the company now enjoys unfettered ownership and possession of the suit property until the conclusion of the Appeal.

The Court of Appeal in granting the orders sought by Kena Properties Ltd concurred with Kena Properties Ltd that as the property owner it had an arguable appeal with a high probability of success which would be rendered nugatory if Adrian Radcliffe a trespasser was to resume his unlawful possession of the suit property, erect structures thereon, recklessly use or abuse the said suit property as he deems fit. In any case, that is bound to fundamentally alter the state of the suit property and render it unusable by Kena Properties Ltd as the property owner.

At the same time, the Appellate Court rubbished the argument of Adrian Radcliffe in opposition to the application for stay that he has been in occupation of the suit property for more than 30 years and that he and his family were unlawfully evicted from the suit property on 4th February, 2022. The Court also rejected Radcliffe’s claim that Kena Properties Ltd has no valid title to the suit property and held that as the purchaser, the company was entitled to enjoy ownership and possession of their property during the pendency of the appeal.

The Court dismissed claims of Mr. Adrian Radcliffe that Kena Properties Ltd as the property owner acquired title to the suit property illegally and unprocedurally finding to the contrary. Further, it rejected Adrian Radcliffe’s claim that Kena Properties as the purchaser cannot evict a legal occupier of a property putting paid to the claim that he was a legal occupier at the time of eviction.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Adrian Radcliffe cannot claim to be the legal occupier of the property having attempted to acquire it by adverse possession before the High Court thwarted his fraudulent scheme on 28th February 2011. Mr. Radcliffe did not appeal the 2011 High Court decision meaning it is still the law that he is not the owner of the land nor the legal occupier of the land having attempted to adversely acquire against the interests of the lawful owner who sold it to Kena Properties.

Mr. Adrian Radcliffe is a well-to-do Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) UNICEF consultant and former UN employee (who has been earning hefty House Allowance). Many have wondered why he has been defaulting in paying rent for 33 years on the prime plot of land in Karen while living large and taking his kids to most expensive schools in Kenya. No question, a local Kenyan could never have gotten away with such selfish impunity.

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Review: Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1




The Journal of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development, Volume 9, Issue No. 1, which is edited by and published by Dr. Kariuki Muigua, PhD is out and stays true to the reputation of the journal in providing a platform for scholarly debate on thematic areas in the fields of Conflict Management and Sustainable Development. The current issue published in September 2022 covers diverse topics including Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in Africa; National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya; Protection of Cultural Heritage During War; The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya; Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya; Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation; Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World; Status of Participation of Women in Mediation; Business of Climate Change and Critical Analysis of World Trade Organization’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment.

Dr. Wilfred A. Mutubwa and Eunice Njeri Ng’ang’a in “Resolving Oil and Gas Disputes in an Integrating Africa: An Appraisal of the Role of Regional Arbitration Centres” explore the nature of disputes in the realm of oil and gas in Africa taking a look into the recent continental and sub-regional developments in a bid to establish regional integration. Additionally, it tests the limits of intra-African trade and dispute resolution and the imperatives for the African regional courts and arbitration centres. In “National Environment Tribunal, Sustainable Development and Access to Justice in Kenya,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua discusses the role played by the National Environment Tribunal (NET) in promoting access to justice and enhancing the principles of sustainable development in Kenya. The paper also highlights challenges facing the tribunal and proposes recommendations towards enhancing the effectiveness of the tribunal.

Dr. Kenneth Wyne Mutuma in “Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of War: A Case for History,” argues that cultural heritage is at the heart of human existence and its preservation even in times of war is sacrosanct. It concludes that it is thus critical for states to take positive and tangible steps to ensure environmental conservation and protection during war within the ambit of the existing international legal framework. In “The Role of Water in the attainment of Sustainable Development in Kenya,” Jack Shivugu critically evaluates the role of water in the attainment of sustainable development in Kenya and argues water plays a critical role in the attainment of the sustainable development goals both in Kenya and at the global stage. The paper interrogates some of the water and Sustainable Development concerns in Kenya including water pollution, water scarcity and climate change and suggests practical ways to enhance the role of water in the Sustainable Development agenda.

Dr. Paul Ogendi in “Collective Property Rights in Human Biological Materials in Kenya,” reflects on property rights in relation to human biological materials obtained from research participants participating in genomic research. He argues that property rights are crucial in genomic research because they can help avoid exploitation or abuse of such precious material by researchers. In “Nurturing our Wetlands for Biodiversity Conservation,” Dr. Kariuki Muigua notes that Wetlands have a vital role in not just delivering ecological services to meet human needs, but also in biodiversity conservation. Wetlands are vital habitat sites for many species and a source of water, both of which contribute to biodiversity protection. The paper examines the role of wetlands in biodiversity conservation and how these wetland resources might be managed to improve biodiversity conservation.

Oseko Louis D. Obure in “Investor-State Dispute Resolution in a Fast-Paced World,” preponderance of disputes between States or States and Investors created need for a robust, effective, and efficient mechanisms not only for the resolution of these disputes but also their prevention. He notes that developing states lead in being parties to Investor-State Disputes (ISD) particularly as respondents. He proceeds to conceptualize and problematize investor-state disputes resolution in a fast-paced world. Lilian N.S. Kong’ani and Dr. Kariuki Muigua in “Status of Participation of Women in Mediation: A case Study of Development Project Conflict in Olkaria IV, Kenya” review the status of participation of women in mediation to resolve conflicts between KenGen and the community. The paper demonstrates a need for further democratization of the mediation processes to cater for more participation of women to enhance the mediation results and offer more sustainable resolutions.

Felix Otieno Odhiambo and Melinda Lorenda Mueni in “The Business of Climate Change: An Analysis of Carbon Trading in Kenya analyses the business of carbon trading in the context of Kenya’s legal framework. The article examines the legal framework that underpins climate change into the Kenyan legal system and provides an exposition of the concept of carbon trading and its various forms. Michael Okello, in “Critical Analysis of World Trade Organisation’s Most-Favored Nation (MFN) Treatment: Prospects, Challenges and Emerging Trends in the 21st Century,” highlights the rationale behind MFN treatment and also restates the vision of multilateral trade to achieve equitable and special interventions with respect to trade in goods, services and trade related intellectual property rights in the affected states.

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