Skeptic News: Banned reflexologists insist Govt actions illegal

From: News Vision (Uganda)

Practitioners of reflexology whose activities were banned in March last year, have insisted that Government’s actions were illegal.

Their submissions were made by their lawyers during the much-anticipated hearing of the case at the Commercial Court in Kampala on Monday. Denis Sembuya and Isaac Kimaze told court presided by Justice Godfrey Kiryabwire, that the then Health minister Stephen Mallinga misdirected himself when he announced the ban. Sembuya stated that Mallinga’s decision was erroneous since he did not follow the mandatory process.

“The minister banned their activities without quoting any stipulated law and where he had based his decision. The ministry of Health had a duty to give each of the complainants an opportunity to defend themselves before taking a drastic decision to close their businesses,” Sembuya said.

The case arose on March 24 last year, when the reflexologists filed an application for judicial review at the court in protest at the ban, contending that Government never accorded them a hearing before their activities were outlawed. The umbrella body Uganda Reflexologists Association of Uganda, together with Alleluia Reflexology Health Solution and Nutrition Centre Limited, filed an application for judicial review in protest against the ban.

The ban was based on an investigation which indicated that reflexology centres posed a risk to the patients’ lives since most of them lack training and did not comply with operational standards. The report was compiled by the Uganda medical and dental practitioners’ council, nurses and midwives council, allied health professionals council and the pharmacy council.

So the reflexologist complaint seems to be that their unevidenced practice was banned because trained medical professionals believed it was harmful. Will be interesting to see what the court thinks.

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