Businesses people opposed to a county government decree to paint their premises blue and white can breathe easy after the High Court suspended the order for three months.
Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s administration has embarked on a reconstruction and beautification programme that involves repainting buildings, garbage collection and rebuilding roads in Mombasa City.
The decree, issued by the county government on March 9 this year, was first suspended on July 12 and extended for three weeks.
The extension was meant to enable the county government to respond to the petition by Best Lady Cosmetics, which says the decree will affect its operations adversely if implemented.
The cosmetics shop says the order to repaint its premises will infringe on its trademark pink colour, confuse clients and affect its profits. The applicant says the cosmetic shop is distinctly identified in all towns it has invested through the colour.
The county government had ordered that all buildings be repainted within weeks, and warned that those who defied the new guidelines would be fined Sh1 million or face three years in prison.
On Friday, the county filed its reply but the petitioner contested it, saying it was filed late. Yesterday, the petitioner pleaded for more time to study the reply and file additional material.
High Court judge Eric Ogola gave Best Lady seven days to study the county government’s reply and file the additional material. The county government was also given seven days to file replies arising from the petitioner’s new material.
But following an application by the county government’s lawyer Paul Buti, the judge ruled that the court will resume on October 11.
Best Lady Lawyer Samuel Kariuki said the government served them with the documents on Friday last week and did not have enough time to research and prepare their documents accordingly.
“I need the court’s leave to file a further affidavit and would like the court to extend the written orders issued earlier,” Kariuki told court.