Kenya: Mombasa Officials Clash With School Board Over Landscaping Project

A school landscape project in Nyali constituency in Mombasa county could stall if county officials and the national government fail to agree on how to proceed.

The board of directors of Frere Town Primary School had asked a court to use money from the National Government Constituency Development Fund to temporarily prevent district officials from tampering with the fencing and landscaping of the school football field.

The board had requested the orders through the attorney general while waiting for a decision on a case it had filed against the district government in connection with the project.

But Judge Charles Yano of the Environment and District Court has denied the application for interim measures.

In its lawsuit, the school says its location leaves students vulnerable to bad influences such as substance abuse. The school director had asked District Representative Mohamed Ali to use NG-CDF funds to help build a wall around the soccer field.

A contractor had started work on two plots that the disbanded Mombasa City Council had reserved for the school’s extracurricular activities and future expansion.

“In a sudden turn of events, the defendant’s inspection authority (district government) moved to the property and instructed the contractor to carry out his work in accordance with the contract,” the court records said.

The board had expected the work to be completed by the school reopening for a new semester on May 12, but due to interference from the district government, they argued, it could not be carried out.

This prompted the board to ask the court for a permanent restraining order that prevented the district officials from interfering with the project.

In its objection to the lawsuit, the district government says the case is constitutional and should be dismissed or referred to an alternative dispute settlement forum.

“This case is an intergovernmental dispute, the settlement of which is provided for and foreseen differently in the constitution and in the law,” argues the district government.

He also says the case is contrary to the constitution, which provides that the national government and the count should consult and settle disputes amicably.

The hearing continues.

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