Court has barred the newly formed Mama ngina Waterfront board from taking over the management of the public park from Mombasa County Government.
High court judge Patrick Otieno issued orders restraining the board that had been put in place by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary,Najib Balala from taking over the management of the park.
The application was made by Haki Africa, Institute for Land Governance and Human Rights and five others.
The judge certified the matter urgent and directed that the application 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 parte hearing.
According to the petitioners if the board is allowed to take over the management of the park, local traders will be left poor thus unable to maintain their families.
“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,” argued the applicants.
The applicants are also seeking a permanent order prohibiting Balala from appointing a management board to run the Mama Ngina Waterfront.
Further, the petitioners also argue that the park is under the county government, which has a role by law to ensure that citizens within Mombasa participate in the planning of its development, which was not done.
“The CS Tourism and Wildlife ministry has no legal, constitutional and, or policy basis to seek to manage the Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa,” said Hussein Khalid the Executive Director Haki Africa.
Balala appointed the board chaired by Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Brown Ondego to manage the facility.
The move by Balala means that the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife takes over the management of the water front but that will hold until the case is heard and determined.