The Court of Appeal will on September 26, this year make a judgment whether a petition seeking Mombasa County control over the port, will continue.
A three-judge bench – Patrick Kiage, Mohamed Warsame, and Agness Murgor – is handling the appeal that arose from a suit by three Mombasa residents. William Ramogi, Gerald Kiti and Asha Omar on July 2018, sort a declaration on the governance, management, and decision making at all governance levels where there is a natural resource.
The trio sued the Attorney General, the Cabinet Secretary of Infrastructure, Kenya Ports Authority, and Kenya Railways Corporation. MUHURI, Mombasa County Government, and activist Maina Kiai are interested parties.
The government transferred freight and cargo handling activities from Mombasa to Embakasi Inland Container Depot, triggering queries by the petitioners.
The government transferred port services to a more prosperous county, Nairobi, leaving thousands of locals jobless.
In August 2018, Chief Justice David Maraga constituted a five-judge bench – Justices Lydia Achode, Joel Ngugi, Lady Pauline Nyamweya, Eric Ogola, and Antony Mrima — to hear the petition. KPA challenged the jurisdiction of the bench, claiming it was handling a matter that ought to be before the Intergovernmental Dispute Tribunal.
In November, the bench ruled it was mandated to hear the mater. KPA and KRC appealed.
CJ Maraga formed a three-judge bench – Alnashir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja’ and Martha Koome — to hear the appeal.
In April this year, however, Visram and Karanja recused after an application by the Mombasa County Government and MUHURI. The county and MUHURI asked CJ Maraga to constitute another bench, claiming the judges had shown bias. Maraga appointed Justices Kiage, Warsame, and Murgor to take over.
During the sitting on Monday in Mombasa, the petitioners and interested parties asked the court to dismiss the appeal.
Mombasa residents cannot live a dignified life after job losses, Caroline Oduor, appearing for the petitioners, said. She said the case was a matter of life and death.