MOMBASA, KENYA: High Court has issued interim orders stopping Mombasa County from having buildings within the central business district painted blue and white.
Justice Eric Ogola issued the orders upon the County’s failure to respond to an application made by an aggrieved applicant Best Lady Cosmetics shop in Mombasa.
The cosmetics shop made its application on July 4 and upon serving the Mombasa County, it did not appear in court to answer to the application.
Through lawyer Samuel Kariuki, the cosmetic shop informed the court that they have their own branding color countrywide and the Mombasa shops are not an exception.
“We have been in business for over 15 years and all the materials in shops traded in pink color which we use in all our branches,” read their application.
The cosmetic shop has branches in Nakuru, Bungoma, Kitale, Meru, Maua, Nyeri, Eldoret, Karatina,Kitui, Machakos,Kericho among others.
Kariuki said that if the impugned notice will go through in their company, it will therefore greatly hamper its business potential.
He also argued that in section 38 of the physical planning Act does not contemplate the color of a property owned but the existence of a physical development plan which also helps in controlling development.
The petitioner was also worried that the County threatened and had indeed began prosecuting owners of buildings who have not complied with the painting order.
“The impugned notice unjustifiably and unreasonably restricts and limits rights and fundamental freedoms of the petitioner,” added Kariuki.
He also argued that the implementation of the impugned notice will deny the petitioner the right to use their long term trademarks and brandings which will inevitably lead to loss of customers and business earnings.
The County chief officer who has been mentioned in the petition as author of the said notice, does not have authority to make such orders, citing that it was made out of apparent misinterpretation and misapprehension of the law.
Mid June, a human rights activist moved to court fighting the same notice issued by the County government.