Court suspends establishment of Elwak municipality in Mandera

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High Court has temporarily suspended the establishment of Elwak Municipality by the Mandera county government due to lack of public participation.

Justice Charles Kariuki further declared vacancies in the Elwak municipality contained in the advertisement dated 30th May 2020 by the Mandera county public service board.

The judge suspended the Kenya Gazette Notice no. 3540 of 5th May 2020 granting a charter for the establishment of the said municipality..

“A temporary conservatory order is hereby issued suspending the Kenya Gazette Notice No.3540 of 15th May 2020 issued by Mandera county government granting a charter for the establishment of Elwak municipality and consequential declaration of vacancies in the Elwak municipality as contained in the 30th May 2020 advertisement by the the Mandera county public service board,” ruled judge Kariuki.

This is after three Mandera county residents filed an application in court seeking to suspend the said Gazette Notice.

Through lawyer Bryan Khaemba, Muhumed Hassan Deisow , Abdi Mahamud Osman and Said Hajir Sheikh argued that there was no public participation prior to the establishment and eventual granting of the charter for the establishment of the Elwak municipality.

The three said that there is no existence of a town committee for Elwak North and Elwak South ” town” so such resolution was passed and no application was made to the county government executive committee for the establishment of the Elwak municipality.

Khaemba submitted that under section 9 of the urban areas and cities act , Mandera county government is mandated to confer the status of a municipality to an existing town as opposed to an unclassified mass of land as it is the case herein whereby the county government determined in the charter the boundary of the Elwak municipality then from a municipality to a city.

“The architecture of the urban areas and cities Act running from sections 8, 9 and 10 is that an area starts by being classified as a town then in can be elevated to a municipality then from a municipality to a city”, Khaemba told the court.

He added that there is no town as Elwak south ward and Elwak North Ward for it to be a starting unit for the conferment of the status of a municipality.

They argued county government has no powers to delineate the boundary of the said Elwak municipality to be Elwak south ward and north ward.