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Food NGO claims ownership of NASA, seeks restraining orders

NASA political leaders when they held a rally in Mathare/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has moved to court seeking to stop the opposition from using the acronym NASA.

The Northern Advocacy for Sustainable Agriculture (NASA) wants the Registrar of Political Parties restrained from registering NASA as a political party.

In its suit papers, the organisation says it has ownership of the name which exists in the files of the NGO Coordination Board which has a certificate of registration dated August 29, 2016.

“We want a declaration that (NASA, the NGO) has sufficient legal rights over the name and acronym, NASA, and is entitled to enjoy its exclusive use and operations to the exclusion of the (NASA, the politicians), their servants or any person claiming through them,” part of the petition read.

Through lawyer Sam Ogutu, the NGO wants the case filed under a certificate of urgency.

Ogutu urged the court to block the politicians from even uttering the name ‘NASA’.

“This Honourable Court be pleased to issue an interim injunction against the first defendants (National Super Alliance), their agents or servants to restrain them from the use of the word or acronym ‘NASA’ as the official or unofficial names of the political party or intended political party for any reason whatsoever pending hearing and determination of the application inter partes,” the court papers further stated.

It now wants the High Court to issue a declaration that only the lobby can use the acronym ‘NASA’, and a guarantee that the politicians will be forced to look for another name.

The NGO insists that it has a right to the name, because it is a prior registered entity “fully operating on the ground.”

It indicated that it has invested heavily in the promotion of its flag and brand” while the Opposition politicians are “still struggling.”

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The agricultural lobby, which primarily operates in Northern Kenya, has also complained that since the Opposition leaders came together and started using the name, its revenues had dropped because donors were hesitant to fund a body with ties to a political party.

It is a move that if successful will force the Coalition to drop what has so far been a popular name and slogan.

It is part of the political pressure that the Opposition leaders – Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula – are facing just four months to the elections as they keep their opponents guessing and their supporters anxious over their candidate for the August 8 elections.

The fight for the acronym NASA joins the litany of troubles the Opposition coalition has, including an ultimatum that Minority Leader Francis Nyenze issued that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka should be given the ticket.


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