CJ picks Bench to hear case on ports privatisation

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024 12:00 | By
Chief Justice Martha Koome. PHOTO/Print
Chief Justice Martha Koome. PHOTO/Print

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed a three-judge Bench to hear and determine a petition filed before the Mombasa High Court challenging the privatisation of Mombasa and Lamu ports.

Koome appointed Mombasa resident judge Olga Sewe, alongside High Court judge Florence Macharia and Gregory Mutai.

High Court Judge Kizito Magare had certified the matter as raising substantial questions of law and ordered the file to be placed before the Chief Justice for further directions.

 An application filed before court by the Taireni Association of Mijikenda in November last year had sought conservatory orders against the government to privatise container Terminal 1, berths 11-14 at the container Terminal 1 at the port of Mombasa and berth 1-3 at Lamu port.

 The association had sought to stop the privatisation of container Terminal 2 (CT2) at the port of Mombasa when a similar progress was announced by the government in 2019.

 The petitioners had argued that the move to privatise the Mombasa port was a plan by some government agencies and cartels working hard to take over the control of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

The association told the court that efforts to hold dialogue with the government on the privatisation process had failed.

The petitioners informed the court that some of the targeted berths for privatisation were developed using public funds, and the government through KPA has commenced the disposal of the berths at the  Mombasa and Lamu ports through public private partnership ACT 2022.

The matter will be mentioned on February 12.

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