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AG withdraws application in farmers' case

RIFT VALLEY
By Daniel Chege | December 7th 2021

The Attorney General (AG) has withdrawn an application challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court in handling the Kenya Farmers Association’s (KFA) case.

Two farmers moved to court to stop the government from taking over KFA and sought orders to reverse the State appointment of a caretaker committee to manage the affairs of the association.

George Narok and Paul Maina want the court to determine that KFA is a limited liability company and not a State corporation and stop the government's interference.

State Counsel Victor Ondieki, in a letter dated December 2 filed before Justice Teresia Matheka, has withdrawn AG’s application dated January 9, 2020.

The AG gave no reason for the withdrawal.

In the application, the AG had said the court had no jurisdiction to handle the case because there were similar cases in Kapenguria and Kericho.

Ondieki, who filed the application, wanted the case to be struck out.

“There is a high likelihood of issuance of conflicting orders in the matter over the same subject before different courts, to the embarrassment of court,” he said.

Abuse of court process

He also said the entire petition was an abuse of the court process because it was defective.

“The petition offends the mandatory provision of the Cooperative Societies Act,” said Ondieki.

The High Court jurisdiction has also been challenged by KFA, through its lawyer Gatu Magana.

Magana wants the case stopped and the High Court to bar itself from dealing with it further.

The KFA Acting Secretary, David ole Naeku, says the court has no jurisdiction because there exist similar cases in Kapenguria High Court Judicial Review No 3 of 2019, Kericho High Court Judicial Review 75 of 2019 and Eldoret Court of Appeal Civil Application E257 of 2020.

“The subject matter and cause of action in the case in Nakuru, Kapenguria, Kericho and Eldoret are the same and this court has no jurisdiction to proceed with the case,” says Naeku.

He prays to the court to stay further proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the other three cases.

Ten people were appointed as caretaker board members of KFA on September 24, 2019, by then Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

Narok and Maina will file their response to Magana’s application before the case is mentioned on December 16.  

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