Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika suffered a major blow in her directive to allow matatus back to the Central Business District (CBD) after a Nakuru High Court temporarily revoked the directive on Thursday, December 15.
In the ruling, Justice Hillary Chemitei directed that matatus go back to their old termini outside the CBD pending the hearing and determination of a petition against the governor's move.
“An interim order be and is hereby issued suspending a declaration made by the governor on December 6 notifying the matatus back to the CBD until the matter is heard and determined,” Justice Chemitei ruled.
A section of traders had moved to court under a certificate of urgency seeking the court's redress to overturn the decision which they note was made without proper public participation.
In the suit, the traders Isaac Wambugu, Samuel Mwangi, Jackson Mwangi, Doreen Mahungu, John Muriuki and Peter Kagai want the court to find the governor in err saying they have lost their incomes.
They have listed Kihika as the first respondent and the county government as the second respondent in the matter.
Kihika's directive 'illegal'
The petitioners say the move to return the matatus back to the CBD was prejudicial to traders who were operating in the old terminus outside the town.
“The decision by Kihika is illegal, irresponsible and an abuse of trite principles of law and power hence there is an urgent need to restrain her and sanity restored,” the petition read in part.
The six, through lawyer Kemboi Sirma, informed the court that the decision was made through a closed-door, invite-only meeting of matatu owners where the oral declaration was done.
“The rights of the petitioners as business owners shall be greatly affected. The move will in turn bring shortcomings such as traffic jams, confusion and total disarray in the CBD,” Sirma said.
They are seeking to have the decision stayed stating that article 10 of the constitution sets out national values and principles of governance that bind all state officers.
“The impugned decision of making roadside declarations without public participation is unconstitutional and in contravention of the rights of the petitioners,” Sirma stated.
The advocate further revealed that the actions by the governor if not stopped will turn out to be a recipe for lawlessness and chaos.
The petition is expected to be heard on February 14, 2023.