By Lilian Otieno
An application seeking conservatory orders restraining the operation of the National Quality Control Laboratory has been filed in court.
The petitioner also seeks a stay of execution order to be issued against the operation of a gazette notice published on 21st October and the guidelines for submitting samples to the National Quality Control Laboratory reviewed on the 15th day of July 2016 pending hearing and determination of the suit.
In the application, the petitioner Allan Muriuki Gikundi argues that the National Quality Control Laboratory which is a junior body to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and which was formed as a result of an amendment act no. 12 of 1992 has gone overboard in carrying out mandates not meant for it.
Through lawyer Jacob Okoth, Gikundi says that leaving the body to continue carrying out irrelevant mandates exposes the beneficiaries and consumers of their services to arbitrariness and breaches of their rights to property, privacy and consumer rights.
He argues that while there is accountability in the procedure for an authorized officer to enter for inspections and possible seizures as provided for in the act section 45, there is no procedure provided for such entry by the members and the chairman of the National Quality Control Laboratory since they are not authorized agents as defined by that section of the act.
Okoth further says that the Director of the National Quality Control Laboratory or any member of its staff authorized by the petitioner lack accountability since there is no provision in the act providing for the legal foundation or framework for the exercise of such powers to justify breach of article 31 of the constitution.
He notes that the body and its officers are unruly horses answerable to no one contrary to the constitution unlike the board and authorized officers provided for under the act.
The petitioner says the mandate of the National Quality Control Laboratory at its formation was to be used a s a facility for examination and testing of drugs and any material from or with which and the manner in which the drugs may be manufactured, processed or treated and ensuring quality control of drugs and medicinal substances.
It was also meant to be used as a facility performing chemical, biological, biochemical, physiological and pharmacological analysis and other pharmaceutical evaluation and finally testing at the request of the board and on behalf of the government of locally manufactured and imported medicinal substances with a view to determining whether they comply with the act.
The applicant says that due to the sensitiveness of the matter as it involves management and control of the profession of pharmacy and the trade in drugs and poison wherein a majority of the consumers are subjected and exposed to grave prejudice and violation of their rights.
The attorney General is named as the first respondent in the matter. It will be heard on January 11th 2017.