ACTIVIST LOSES BID TO STOP KENYA-CHINA RAIL WAY.

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Human right activist Okiya Omtatah adressing press confrence in Nairobi.

 

By SAM ALFAN.

 

High Court has dismissed an application by two activists seeking to stop execution of an agreement between Kenya and China for the construction of a railway.
Justice David Majanja also disqualified himself from hearing the matter and directed the matter to be mention on before principal judge of high court for further direction and orders.

He said the notice of motion was dated May 13, 2014 was abuse of court process and it must be struck out.
“In view of the position I have taken in this matter, I decline to deliver the ruling in respect of the applications to strike out the petition and I hereby set aside all the proceedings made in respect of the pending Notices of Motion and the 1st respondent’s preliminary objection. “ Said the ruling.
The two moved to court to block the construction of 1.3 trillion of standard gauge railway
Omtatah and Nyakina also wanted the Attorney-General be directed to produce a copy of the multibillion financial agreement of the Standard Gauge Railway signed between the Government of Kenya and Exports and Import (EXIM) Bank of China.y project that was endorsed by president Uhuru Kenya
They argued that, the agreement between the government and Exim Bank of China to finance the Mombasa-Malava the Standard Gauge Railway project should be stopped by court until questions raised about it are fully addressed.
Mr Okiya Omtatah and Mr Wycliffe Gisebe claimed that, the government is acting in bad faith by going ahead to sign the contract, despite the concerns that have been raised, including court cases challenging construction of the railway.
Activists also wanted an order compelling Attorney-General Githu Muigai to produce a copy of the financial agreement signed between Kenya and China for public scrutiny before the project is allowed to proceed.
The two accused the AG, the Kenya Railways Corporation and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority of being in contempt of court by allowing the signing of the contract while aware of the existence of court cases in which they are parties.
“In the premise, the said financial agreement between Kenya and the Exim Bank of China undermines the rule of law and should be stopped for violating the Constitution and the principles of good governance,” Mr Omtatah says.
Kenyans are bound to suffer if details of the contract are not made public and the government goes ahead with the construction of the railway connecting Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang last week led a delegation to Kenya for the signing of the agreement, which has faced several hurdles since its inception.
It was among several projects the government signed with the Chinese premier on President Kenyatta’s first visit to China.

 

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