• Last year, county ordered building owners to paint their premises white and blue.
• Pink store moved to court in protest, was issued interim orders until pending case is determined.
Bestlady-Sleek Lady cosmetics store is famous for its bright pink brand colour.
Now the 15-year-old institution is a dirty white after county workers hurriedly slapped a coat of paint on it last Monday night under the supervision of Mombasa county askaris.
The county has ordered that all buildings downtown be painted white, with traditional blue trim. That included the pink shop on Digo Road.
The Bestlady owners were not in the pink, to say the least.
Bestlady lawyers Marcelino Lesaigor and Samuel Kariuki on Monday filed suit. the hearing is scheduled for Thursday, tomorrow.
The shop moved to court last year on July 14 and was issued with interim orders barring the county from implementing a notice requiring all buildings in Mombasa to be painted white and blue.
“The county government filed its responses. To our utter shock, on September 2 in total disregard of the court orders issued on July 12, they forcefully painted some of our client’s premises,” Lesaigor said.
The main suit pending in court has mentioned the county Transport executive and the county government as respondents.
During the last court appearance in January, Justice Eric Ogola had directed parties to try an out-of-court settlement.
“We wrote to the county government but it never responded. The main case is still pending,” Lesaigor added.
The case is slated for mention on October 28 to set a ruling date.
Last year on May 30, the county issued a notice requiring that residential and commercial building owners clean, paint and refurbish premises to appear decent and to ensure public health. Walkways were to be even and not pose dangers to pedestrians.
A 30-day notice was issued for compliance and preparation of painting and a further 60 days to complete.
“The buildings should be in white with Olympic/oceanic blue border on the edges and window frames without any sign written on the wall or canopy. Compliance letters should be collected by attaching photos of before and after as evidence,” the notice signed by Transport chief officer Albert Keno read.
Justice Ogola said the parties should agree on how the shops will not lose their signature colour and still adhere to the county directive. He gave them 30 days to mediate.
Bestlady argues that Governor Hassan Joho had no powers to issue such directives and termed them as illegal "as they did not have constitutional backing".
The county, through lawyer Paul Buti, said the directive was meant for building owners and Bestlady was not targeted.
An affidavit by its director Peter Njoroge Karanja reads, “The implementation will deny us the right to use our long-term trademarks and branding, which would inevitably lead to loss of customers and business earnings.”
The cosmetics shop has branches in Karatina, Kitui, Machakos, Eldoret, Nyeri, Nakuru, Bungoma, Kitale, Meru, Maua, Nairobi and Mombasa.
Edited by R.Wamochie