KPA management beyond Mombasa county powers — High Court - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

KPA management beyond Mombasa county powers — High Court


Mombasa county's bid to share the management of the Kenya Ports Authority has been quashed after the High Court ruled the parastatal is beyond the county's limits.

A five-judge bench, led by Lydia Achode and Erick Ogola, said the management of KPA is beyond the powers of the county. They said the Constitution gave counties powers to manage inland waters such as lakes and not international waters such as the Indian Ocean.

They noted that a similar dispute had already been determined by Justice Emanyara Emukule, who declined to hand over the management of Kenya Ferry Services to the county government.

“The Constitution is very clear and there are no grey areas when it comes to powers of the national and county governments as the Constitution clearly delimits their functions," the judges said.

The petition had been filed by three Mombasa residents who asked the court share KPA’s responsibilities in management and operations between the national and county governments.

They argued the county hosts the port with the facility sitting on its land.

Petitioners William Ramogi, Asha Omar, Gerald Kithi and Kenya Transporters Association Limited sought a directive that the national government only oversees policy and financing of the port while Mombasa county manages the parastatal.

They sued the Attorney General, the Transport Cabinet Secretary, KPA, Kenya Railways and the Competition Authority of Kenya. They listed Muhuri, Maina Kiai and Mombasa county as interested parties.

But the judges said the court did not have the authority to assign duties of the port to both governments. They said the task had already been undertaken by the Constitution, which gave the counties powers to run ferry and harbours, excluding regulation of national and international shipping and related matters.

The judges suspended for 180 days the government directive to have all cargo not intended for Mombasa and its environs to be ferried and cleared at the Embakasi Inland Depot as well as the directive that forced importers to choose CFS of their choice.

They said the six-month period will be used by KPA and Kenya Railways to regularise the situation.

They said the directives which affected not only importers but also cargo owners, transporters and other stakeholders ought to have been subjected to public participation and stakeholder engagements.

The judges, however, declined to declare the directives economically and socially impacted the petitioners and the residents of Mombasa. They said the petitioners failed to prove that they were hurt by the directives.

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