A five-judge bench will now determine the entity that will control the Port of Mombasa in a protracted dispute between Mombasa County and the National Government.
Mombasa in a petition seeks control of the port, a position that has been vehemently opposed by national government.
The county also wants the bench to order transfer of port services from Inland Container Deport (ICD) in Embakasi, Nairobi County back to Mombasa.
Yesterday justices Lydia Achode, Erick Ogola, Joel Ngugi, Antony Murima and Pauline Nyamweya directed that the two petitions raised by county government raised substantially similar issues and should be consolidated.
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The dispute arises from a petition filed before the bench by petitioners William Ramogi, Asha Omar, Gerald Kiti, with Mombasa County, Muslim for Human Rights and Maina Kiai as interested parties.
The petitioners through their lawyer Nyambura Kihoro are challenging the September 30, 2014 agreement between Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Railways Corporation seeking to move cargo operations to Nairobi using the Standard Gauge Railway.
Kihoro said the declaration poses a direct threat to the social and economic rights of residents of Mombasa.
“We wish to submit that the petition before this court raises serious, sensitive and contested issues that are complex and require a multi-faceted approach to the interpretation of the Constitution, statute and international law,” said Kihoro.
KPA lawyers Prof Githu Muigai and Billy Kongere said the bench lacked original jurisdiction to entertain the petition after sections of the Inter-governmental Relations Act ousted the High Court’s original jurisdiction on intergovernmental disputes.