Case over Mombasa control of KPA put off

The bird view of Mombasa Ports Authority. Photo Elkana Jacob
The bird view of Mombasa Ports Authority. Photo Elkana Jacob

Mombasa residents will wait longer to know whether the court will hand over port operations to the county.

This is after the Court of Appeal in Nairobi stopped proceedings of the petition filed in Mombasa by three residents.

The residents William Ramogi, Asha Omar and Gerald Kithi want the management of the largest port in Eastern Africa handed over to the county. They want the national government to play an oversight role.

The three have sued the Attorney General, Cabinet secretary in charge of Transport and Infrastructure, Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Railways.

However the state led by the AG moved to the Court of Appeal saying the petition is an intergovernmental conflict which should be solved by the national and county government.

The AG said the five judge bench constituted by Chief Justice David Maraga lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter and therefore they should not proceed.

The state further said a similar matter involving Kenya Ferry Services had been determined. It had been concluded that the national government has the rights to the utility.

In June, the port registered 106,153 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU’s) compared to 99,727 TEUs handled last year.

The five judge bench led by Justice Lydia Achode while adjourning the matter said, “we are unable to proceed with the hearing, we request for some time to consult on the new developments.”

In the ruling issued in November, the five Judges unanimously agreed that the conflict was not intergovernmental and therefore the petition was rightfully in its court.

The Judges said they also need to interpret on whether an agreement between KPA and Kenya Railways to have cargo transported through SGR was constitutional.

They said the constitutional court need to determine whether the agreement infringed the rights of the petitioners and generally the residents of Mombasa.

They further stressed that the petitioners not only represent their complaints, but also the plight of the Mombasa residents.