In Summary
  • The Mama Ngina Waterfront board had been put in place by Mr Balala.
  • The petitioners argue that a number of local traders will be rendered destitute if the board takes over.
  • They are also seeking a permanent order prohibiting Mr Balala from appointing a management board.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has suffered a blow after a Mombasa court barred the newly formed Mama Ngina Waterfront board from taking over the management of the public park, which was refurbished at a cost of Sh460million.

High Judge Patrick Otieno Monday issued orders restraining the board that had been put in place by Mr Balala from taking over the management of the park from the Mombasa County government.

CERTIFIED URGENT

The judge certified an application by Haki Africa, Institute for Land Governance and Human Rights and five others as urgent and directed that it be served on the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry and Attorney-General Kariuki Kihara.

The court also ordered the applicants to serve the Mombasa County government, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the National Land Commission (NLC), who are listed as interested parties in the case, with the documents pending inter partes hearing.

“The applicant to file and serve the notice of motion within seven days and serve the same upon respondents and the interested parties within three days after service,” the judge ordered.

The petitioners argue that if the board is allowed to take over the management of the park, a number of local traders at the waterfront will be rendered destitute and will be unable to maintain their families.

Mama Ngina Waterfront

The entrance of Mombasa's Mama Ngina Waterfront public park on November 5, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

LICENSES

“The current locals who are conducting businesses at the waterfront may be locked out from trading at the facility and licenses maybe issued to an exclusive group of affluent non-residents, companies and individuals who have the ability to pay huge [fees] to operate,” the applicants argued.

The petitioners also expressed fears that the park may be set aside exclusively for tourists and lock out locals from freely, and without payment of any fees, accessing the waterfront.

They want the takeover by the Tourism ministry be stopped arguing that it (the ministry) has no legal capacity to seek to manage the facility, which they argue is under the care of the NMK by provisions of the law.

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