Kisumu County Government Monday sued controversial cleric Father John Juma Pesa of the Holy Ghost Coptic Church of Kenya for unlawfully holding mentally challenged persons in deplorable conditions.
Winam court Senior Principal Magistrate Fatuma Rashid directed that the lawyers for both parties file responses by Thursday and that the hearing will kick off on Friday 27th of this month since the matter is certified as urgent.
The department of health said 23 mentally challenged persons are being held at the church along the Kisumu-Kakamega highway but are lacking basic amenities like toilets which is a public health hazard and goes against the Public Health Act.
The cleric’s lawyer had earlier told the court that his client needed more time to look at the petition from the department of public health since they only received it on Tuesday morning.
The public health department which was represented by Wycliffe Owuor, the senior public health also told the court the matter is urgent and could not wait to owe to the conditions the patients are living in which pose a threat to their health.
The Kisumu central sub-county public health officer Fredrik Moi said they are hopeful the court will dispense justice faster so as to enable those being held at the church access better health care.