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Parties given 14 days to join case challenging State’s dominance over KPA

[Nominated MCA Mohamed Hatimy, MUHURI chairman Khelef Khalifa and the NGO's rapid response officer at Mombasa High Court on November 2, when a five-judge bench ruled the case will proceed to full trial. Photo/Courtesy]

Parties interested to join a suit challenging National Government’s control over Kenya Ports Authority have 14 days to apply.

The countdown started on Friday after Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) – an interested party in the matter – placed an advertisement on the Star newspaper calling for a joinder after November 2, court order.

The case which pits activist Maina Kiai and Mombasa county as other interested parties will be mentioned December 20.

The three petitioners, William Ramogi, Asha Omar and Gerald Kiti wants Mombasa port operations transferred to Embakasi Inland Container Depot reverted back.

The trio wants an agreement signed between KPA and the Kenya Railways Cooperation to transport cargo via Standard Gauge Railway to the ICD for clearance, quashed.

They argue it is posing a major setback to the socio-economy of the Coastal people.

They further want a board constituted by Mombasa County government to oversee port operations whereas the national government remains the regulator.

The three aver moving port operations to Nairobi rendered many Mombasa locals jobless. Most port-related business have shutdown, they note.

The case is being heard by five-judge bench formed by Chief Justice David Maraga.

They are Justices Lydia Achode, Joel Ngugi, Pauline Nyamweya, Eric Ogolla and Anthony Mrima.

“Take further notice that if no Application for joinder is made as at the date above mentioned, such order will be made and proceedings taken as the court may think just and expedient,” Friday’s public announcement reads in part.

The five judges on November 2, ruled the case had merit, was yet to be determined and did not fall under Intergovernmental Relations Act, grounds cited by Attorney General for dismal.

The bench said the case will go for full trial, denting a blow to the government and a win for MUHURI, petitioners and other interested parties.

National Environmental Management Authority had requested to be enjoined in the suit. But MUHURI’s lawyer Willis Otieno objected claiming the agency’s interests were covered by the office of the AG, a respondent.

MUHURI Chairperson Khelef Khalifa termed the transfer of port services unconstitutional. He said jobs have been lost.

“Functions of the port of Mombasa should be handed to the Mombasa County government if we are living in constitutionalism and devolution,” he said.

He said the county should be mandated to enforce the harbor function.