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Friday June 19, 2020 – The High Court has dealt President Uhuru Kenyatta a severe blow in his efforts to leave a lasting legacy when he retires in 2022.

This is after it suspended a directive making it mandatory for goods destined for Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan to be transported by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) through the Naivasha Dry Port.

Justice Pauline Nyamweya ordered the suspension of the orders which were announced by Transport CS, James Macharia, in May 2020.

“The leave so granted herein to institute these judicial review proceedings shall operate as a suspension of the Notice on Transit Cargo published by the 1st Respondent on 22nd May 2020 on the official Facebook Page of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion or further orders by this Court,” read court papers.

CS Macharia had, in May, directed that all transit cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan be transported by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Naivasha or the Metre Gauge Railway to Tororo/Kampala.

“All transit cargo railed to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha will be collected by trucks to the Partner States via Busia or Malaba.”

“Further, fuel products will be transported by pipeline to Kisumu and thereafter by Lake Victoria to Port Bell or Jinja,” he stated.

According to the CS, the measures were instituted to prevent the spread of Covid-19 a justification that the petitioner, activist Okiya Omtatah, refuted.

Omtatah, in his court papers, stated that the order aimed at controlling the pandemic was not backed by any scientific study.

He further argued that the notice by the CS had no basis in law adding that he (Macharia) did not have any power to issue the notice in the manner he did.

The activist further faulted the fact that there was no public participation before the notice was published.

The new directives became effective from June 1st, 2020, and ignited protests from a number of businessmen in Mombasa.

Nyali MP, Mohamed Ali, moved to impeach CS Macharia over the directive citing economic losses in the Coastal region because of the CS’ directive.


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