High Court halts anti-SGR demos
By Monica Kagia
The Mombasa High Court has temporarily stopped weekly anti-Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) demonstrations by traders in the transport and logistics sector and civil society organisations.
In his ruling, Justice Eric Ogolla said the petitioners should not hold the demos until a matter filed by their organisers, First Action Business Movement, is heard and determined.
The street protests dubbed Black Monday have entered their second month now.
Four members of the movement— Ahmed Omar, Dennis Okumu, Mohammed Ahmed, and Albert Adego— and Shipeta Mathias of Haki Africa have filed a petition seeking orders to prohibit the government from stopping the demonstrations.
They have been protesting over a directive issued by the government in June requiring that all upcountry-bound cargo be transported to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi through SGR.
The matter was scheduled for hearing on Thursday but the respondent, who is the Attorney General, told the court the government needed more time to respond to the petition.
The movement had moved to court after the Makupa and Changamwe Officer Commanding Station (OCS) allegedly denied them permission to hold the weekly protests.
In their application filed under the certificate of urgency, the First Action Business Movement alleges that the government is infringing on their constitutional rights by preventing them from holding the peaceful procession.
Ogolla ordered the AG to respond to the petition before inter partes hearing scheduled for November 5.