The Star (Kenya)

Om­tatah wants KWS boss cited for con­tempt over Nairobi park case

- CAROLYNE KUBWA @ es­tarkenya Crime · U.S. News · White-collar Crime · Discrimination · Wildlife · Human Rights · Society · Nairobi · Kenya · Kenya Wildlife Service

Hu­man rights ac­tivist Okiya Om­tatah has asked the High Court to cite Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice boss John Waweru for con­tempt af­ter he al­legedly re­fused to avail doc­u­ments as or­dered by a judge in July.

Om­tatah ar­gues that un­less the court in­ter­venes, his right to ac­cess jus­tice will be vi­o­lated as the sub­ject of the pe­ti­tion which the court set out to pro­tect will be de­feated.

In July, the High Court or­dered KWS not to con­clude pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion on the Draft of Nairobi Na­tional Park Man­age­ment Plan 2020-2030.

But KWS is­sued a press state­ment on Septem­ber 2 in­form­ing the pub­lic that it had con­cluded the re­view by stake­hold­ers and the pub­lic of the park’s man­age­ment plan.

Om­tatah said pub­lic con­fi­dence in the rule of law and the court’s author­ity would be gravely un­der­mined and fur­ther eroded if it did not act. “Un­less the ap­pli­ca­tion is ur­gently heard and de­ter­mined, the pe­ti­tioner and the peo­ple of Kenya will suf­fer great loss as the author­ity of this court, the Con­sti­tu­tion, and the rule of law will con­tinue to be un­der­mined by the KWS,” says Om­tatah in court doc­u­ments.

He fur­ther ar­gues that it is not in dis­pute that valid court or­ders were made in the pres­ence of the coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing KWS.

He claims the or­der was ex­tracted and duly served on the AG, which meant that the en­tire gov­ern­ment ma­chin­ery had been served and made aware of the di­rec­tive.

 ?? /EZEKIEL AMING’A ?? Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice di­rec­tor gen­eral John Waweru
/EZEKIEL AMING’A Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice di­rec­tor gen­eral John Waweru

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