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Kenya's Supreme Court to hear case on wildlife migration

By Boaz Kipngenoh | April 25th 2016

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal in which Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) denies liability for damages caused by migrating wildlife. 

The court will determine four issues touching on liability for damages caused by the spectacular Masai Mara wildlife migration, which is the eighth wonder of the world.

The matter arises from a case in which KWS is contesting execution of a High Court decree to pay a compensation of Sh31.5 million to Rift Valley Agricultural Contractors Ltd.

KWS argues the migration is an act of God and the agency should not be compelled to compensate any person for loss or destruction of crops caused by the wildlife.

Last week, Supreme Court judges Philip Tunoi, Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Jackton Ojwang' and Njoki Ngung'u allowed KWS to proceed with the appeal.

"The migration will recur over and over again and the burden of its impacts will fall on all farmers in the affected areas. So it is to be expected that over the years, so many other suits may be lodged before the courts, with parties seeking a resolution to conflicts occasioned by the periodic wildlife migration," they noted.

The decision by the Appeal court to allow KWS to move to the Supreme Court was contested by Rift Valley Contractors Ltd, who argued the Appellate Court did not consider the High Court proceedings.

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