Counties

AG seeks dismissal of Mama Ngina Water front board lawsuit

uhuru-ngina

President Kenyatta at Mama Ngina Waterfront Park. PHOTO | PSCU

Summary

  • The Attorney-General (AG) wants a case challenging a board appointed by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to manage the Sh460 million refurbished Mama Ngina Waterfront dismissed.
  • The AG says the case filed by human rights organisations and four residents of Mombasa is misleading the court.
  • Through counsel Nguyo Wachira, the AG says that the applicants failed to disclose that the national government is the registered owner of the Mama Ngina Waterfront.

The Attorney-General (AG) wants a case challenging a board appointed by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to manage the Sh460 million refurbished Mama Ngina Waterfront dismissed.

The AG says the case filed by human rights organisations and four residents of Mombasa is misleading the court.

Through counsel Nguyo Wachira, the AG says that the applicants failed to disclose that the national government is the registered owner of the Mama Ngina Waterfront.

According to the AG, the applicants submission that the parcel of land (Mama Ngina Waterfront) belongs to the county government of Mombasa was misleading.

“The initial applicants failed to disclose that there were consultations done before the CS for Tourism and Wildlife issued a Gazette Notice dated August 28,2019,” argues the AG.

He further says that the national government stands to lose millions of shillings since suspension orders earlier issued affect the ongoing developments.

“The suit has been commenced via half-truths, misleading facts, on disclosure of facts and failure to willfully serve the pleading in good time,” the application by the AG states.

In her supporting affidavit, Principal Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Safina Kwekwe says that National Museums of Kenya still retains the legal mandate to ensure that the heritage value of the site is preserved.

In June, Justice Eric Ogola reinstated the case which he had dismissed on November 14 last year when parties failed to attend court for inter-parties hearing.

In reinstating the case, Justice Ogola said a decision to reinstate is discretional but the discretion must be anchored on justice.

"Under Article 50 of the Constitution, every person has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair and public hearing before a court or if appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or body,” said Justice Ogola.

The human rights organisations and the residents argue that once the board is allowed to take over the management of the recreational facility, some local traders at the waterfront will be rendered destitute hence unable to maintain their families.

“The 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 permits to operate,” the applicants argue.

The application by the AG will be heard on November 10.