Ruling On The Question Of Urgency
1.On June 28, 2022, I declined to certify as urgent the applicants’ application dated June 24, 2022 in which the applicant seeks an order of stay of execution of a ruling of the Environment and Land Court ruling delivered on 27th April 2022 in ELC Case Number 242 of 2021 and an order of stay of proceedings in that suit. By a letter dated July 13, 2022, the advocates for the applicant applied for inter parties hearing on the question of urgency.
2.The matter was then fixed for hearing inter parties before me on the issue of urgency on August 17, 2022 when learned counsel Mr. Kiwinga appeared for the applicants and while Mr. Nyange, learned counsel, appeared for the respondents.
3.The grounds on which the applicants assert that the application is urgent as set out in the certificate of urgency and in the affidavit in support of urgency sworn by Jamuel Mwakandana Kiwinga advocate as amplified by Mr. Kiwinga in his submissions is that in the interlocutory ruling of the ELC of April 27, 2022 subject of the intended challenge on appeal, the ELC granted temporary orders of injunction allowing the respondent to continue conducting business on the suit property; that the intended appeal raises serious triable issues; that the applicants are the executors of the registered proprietor of the suit property with the duty to manage the estate to prevent wastage; that the temporary injunction granted in favour of the respondent is an abuse of the process of the court as it was initially granted to the respondent in a previous suit before the Chief Magistrates Court at Voi and the same was stayed by the ELC Mombasa; that the applicants raised that matter and the issue of the application being res judicata and the suit being sub judice; that the suit premises is a hotel in a dilapidated state attributable to the respondent and is losing its international stature.
4.Counsel for the applicant stressed that there are parallel proceedings involving the same subject matter and that if the matter is not certified as urgent, the respondent will continue abusing the process of the court.
5.Counsel for the respondent Mr. Nyange began by pointing out that beside being served with a hearing notice, he was not copied in on the letter seeking inter parties hearing and had therefore not had an opportunity to file a replying affidavit but had managed on to file a list of authorities.
6.Counsel submitted that the applicants have not demonstrated that there is urgency in the application; that matters raised by the applicant are matters on the merits of the application to be canvassed before the full bench; that the dispute arises from a tenant and landlord relationship and there is nothing to show that the suit property, a hotel, is under threat of disposal. It was submitted that there is no risk of conflicting decisions between the matter said to be before a court in Voi and the matter before the ELC and no reasons justifying certification of the matter as urgent have been given.
7.As I have already indicated, I in the first instance declined to certify the matter as urgent following which the applicant applied for inter parties hearing. I have considered the submissions. The applicant is required to demonstrate that the matter deserves to be heard on basis of priority and to justify why it should be fast tracked for hearing.
8.In the case of in Benjoh Amalgamated Limited v Kenya Commercial Bank Limited & another  eKLR, M’Inoti, JA articulated the applicable standard as follows:
9.And later in the same decision:
10.In my view, the matters on the basis of which the applicants contend the application dated June 24, 2022 should be fast tracked are matters to be urged in support of the application before the full bench. They are matters by which the applicant is seeking to demonstrate that the intended appeal is arguable and do not go to demonstrating why the application should jump the que as it were.
11.I am therefore not persuaded that the application merits certification as urgent. I direct that the application shall be fixed for hearing in the normal manner.
12.I make no orders as to costs.