The Court of Appeal has dismissed Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) bid to stop hearing of a petition in which Mombasa County is seeking to run operations of the port.
The appellate judges Mohammed Warsame, Patrick Kiage and Agnes Murgor dismissed the appeal which had been filled on grounds that the High Court lacked the jurisdiction to determine the matter.
The appellants argued through Prof. Githu Muigai that the matter ought to have been settled by the Integovernmental Dispute Tribunal.
The 3 Judge bench averred that the High Court had the jurisdiction to hear the petition filed by Mombasa residents Mr William Ramogu, Ms Asha Omar and Gerald Kiti in July, 2018.
The petitioners had challenged the agreement that led to the freight and cargo handling activities being transferred from Mombasa to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot. They sought a declaration that would see Mombasa County being involved in governance, management and decision making at all governance levels where there is a natural resource involved.
Through lawyers Prof. Githu Muigai, Nani Mungai and Geoffrey Imende, Kenya Ports Authority argued that the High Court judges had created an excuse for avoiding a forum where the Constitution through Article 159 provides for such disputes to be heard.
However, according to the bench matters raised in the petition had not been watered down such as to deny the petitioners a chance to be heard.
Moreover the judges dismissed the plea to struck down the case based on merit as the appellants had not proved that the petitioners were proxies of the County government of Mombasa. They averred that the Intergovernmental dispute tribunal cannot handle disputes between individuals and a government agency as it deals with disputes between two levels of government.
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