Malindi Rights Forum (MRF) & another v National Land Commission & 10 others; County Government of Kilifi & another (Interested Parties) (Environment & Land Petition 11 of 2020)  KEELC 190 (KLR) (25 January 2023) (Ruling)
Neutral citation:  KEELC 190 (KLR)
Republic of Kenya
Environment & Land Petition 11 of 2020
NA Matheka, J
January 25, 2023
Malindi Rights Forum (MRF)
Kabuki Farmers Association
National Land Commission
Chief Land Registrar
National Environmental Management Authority
Krystalline Salt Limited
Kemu Salt Packers Production Limited
Mombasa Salt Works Limited
Malindi Salt Works Limited
Solar Salt Works Limited
County Government Of Kilifi
Kenya National Commission For Human Rights
1.The 6th respondent raised a preliminary objection dated October 12, 2022 on the following grounds;1.The petitioners as named, have no legal capacity to institute these proceedings.2.The petitioners as named, are not persons in law and cannot be the litigants in these proceedings in their own standing.3.As a result of (1) and (2) hereinabove, this honourable court cannot grant and/or enforce any of the orders sought for in the petition as against the 6th respondent.4.Pursuant to (1), (2) and (3) hereinabove, the petition is misconceived, fatally defective, incurable and untenable in law and is an abuse of the process of the court.
2.That the petition dated May 13, 2019 should be struck out with costs to the 6th respondent.
3.This court has considered the preliminary objection and the submissions therein. Locus standi is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Edition (page 1026) as “ the right to bring an action or to be heard in a given forum”. The Court in Alfred Njau and others v City Council of Nairobi (1982) KAR 229, defined the term locus standi as such; -
4.Further in Law Society of Kenya v Commissioner of Lands & others, Nakuru High Court Civil Case No 464 of 2000, the court stated that;
5.The issue of locus standi has been raised herein as a preliminary objection by the 6th respondent. A preliminary objection, was aptly described in the case of Mukisa Biscuit Manufacturing Company Ltd v West End Distributors Ltd (1969) EA 696, as that which,
6.The issue of locus standi therefore falls within the category of preliminary objection as it raises the issue of the legal capacity of a party to institute a suit failure to which the proceedings in question will be null and void and the suit will be disposed. This was echoed in Mumo Matemu v Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance & 5 others (2014) eKLR. The court stated thus,
7.It is the 6th respondent contention that the petitioner herein have no legal capacity to institute proceedings as there are not persons in law whereas the petitioners contend that there an organization of 3000 members who have entrusted their leaders to file a suit on behalf their behalf and are well within the ambits of the 2010 Constitution to file such a case and the 1st respondent agrees with this position.
8.The Kenyan 2010 Constitution provide elaborately for person’s rights to move the court. A person under article 260 of the 2010 Constitution is a described as;Article 22 of the 2010 Constitution provides thus; -article 258 thus provides:
9.In Mumo Matemu v Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance & 5 others (2013) Eklr, the Court of Appeal held that;
10.I find that article 258 of the Constitution makes it clear that an association whether incorporated or unincorporated as the one herein can institute legal proceedings on behalf of its members. I find the preliminary objection is not merited and is dismissed with costs.It is so ordered.
DELIVERED, DATED AND SIGNED AT MOMBASA THIS 25TH DAY OF JANUARY 2023.N.A. MATHEKAJUDGE