A Mombasa court on Monday barred newly formed board from taking over the management of the Mama Ngina Waterfront from the Mombasa County government.

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According to Daily Nation, High Court Judge Patrick Otieno made the ruling against the board put in place by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala after petitions from various groups seeking to stop them from taking over. 

Seven groups had petitioned the court to stop the Balala-instituted board from taking over. They include; Haki Africa, Institute for Land Governance and Human Rights among others. 

The petitioners have been directed to serve relevant documents to Tourism and Wildlife Ministry, Attorney-General Kariuki Kihara, the Mombasa County government, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the National Land Commission (NLC). 

“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,” Justice Otieno ordered as quoted by Daily Nation

The groups which moved to court had argued that the said board might render traders along the Mama Ngina Waterfront jobless. 

“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 in court documents quoted by Daily Nation. 

The groups now want the notice of appointment of the board to be ignored, noting that it was illegally set up. 

They are also seeking a permanent order to stop Balala from appointing any board to run the Waterfront.