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Court blocks new transport rules

NAIROBI, October 2 – The High Court has suspended the implementation of new transport rules barring use of vehicles exceeding the six-axle load capacity until October 12.

High Court judge Roselyn Wendoh issued the order after 25 transport companies challenged the new regulation that came into effect on Wednesday.

Justice Wendoh also allowed the transporters to file a contempt suit against Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere for disregarding an earlier court order that barred the gazettement of the rules, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Through lawyer Peter Kaluma, the transporters argued that despite the prohibitive order issued on July 31, Mr Mwakwere went ahead to gazette the rules outlawing use of vehicles and trailers with a six axle- load capacity and above.

They also claimed that the Transport Minister had undermined the hearing of the case by failing to file necessary papers and submissions.

It was alleged that the minister had deliberately attempted to circumvent the court orders by publishing the rules which were reported in the media on September 24.

“The new rules if allowed will render the pending applications for judicial review useless,” a section of complaint read. “It is necessary that leave is granted in order to bring a substantive application seeking orders to commit the respondent to civil jail for disobedience of court orders.”

Among the companies suing the minister are PN Mashru, Awadh Omar Bayusuf and Sons, Motrex, Multiple Hauliers, Anwarali Brothers.

Others are Mohammed Ahmed Bayusuf and Lochab Brothers.

Guantanamo inmate’s case

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Also at the High Court, the Attorney General was on Thursday directed to respond to a case challenging the extradition of a Kenyan to the Guantanamo Bay high security prison.

Justice Joseph Nyamu gave the directions during the mention of a case in which Mariam Mohammed is challenging extradition of her brother, Mohammed Abdulmalik, who was arrested on suspicion of having terrorist links.

Ms Mariam and her step brother Salim Khamis, have sued the Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali and the AG Amos Wako for the unlawful detention of their brother.

The two claim that since their brother’s arrest in February 2007 and subsequent transfer to Guantanamo in March the same year, he has neither been charged nor arraigned in a court of law, and is still in pre-trial custody.

Mr Abdulmalik was arrested on suspicion of having committed criminal offences in Mombasa and allegedly detained at various police stations in the coastal town and Nairobi before being transferred to Guantanamo.

The family now wants the court to declare that the arrest was unlawful and immediately secure his release and accord him general, exemplary and punitive damages.

The case will be heard on February 11, next year.

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