MUHURI has sued Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) over its toll service at the Likoni crossing channel, which favours motorists using MPESA only, and seeks orders to revoke it.
KFS introduced a cashless system in October 2020 and directed that tolls be done exclusively via MPESA, a mobile money transfer service associated with Safaricom. Consequently, KFS denied services to many motorists without MPESA.
Last year, MUHURI wrote to KFS to rescind this unilateral decision and allow non-MPESA users to pay tolls using modes of their choice. But the parastatal did not respond.
And in February this year, MUHURI chairman Khelef Khalifa and rapid response officer Francis Auma protested the discrimination. Police, however, arrested and charged them with causing disturbance and obstruction. Both denied the charges.
In this petition, the Transport CS James Macharia and Attorney General Paul Kihara are listed as the second and third respondents, respectively, while KFS is the first.
KFS has been turning away users without MPESA, curtailing their freedom of movement, the petition notes.
Vehicles liable for toll charges are saloon cars, pickups, trucks, trailers, buses, and fuel tankers. Others are motorcycles and handcarts.
“The respondents’ actions, as herein complained of, constitute blatant violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution,” the petition reads.
MUHURI says there have been substantial and irreparable loss and damage because of the KFS’ decision.
The court has certified the case urgent and set inter partes hearing on April 22, 2021.