Police Defy Court Order, Shuts Down Joho’s Firms

Some policemen in Mombasa, yesterday, raided two container freight station (CFS) belonging to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, in defiance of a court order against any such actions against him.

When quizzed about the authority with which they made the sweep, the commanding officer in charge of the team of policemen said he was acting by “order from above.”

On Monday, the Court had issues an injunction ruling out a blockade imposed by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Friday of last week. According to the commander of the raiding policemen, a new investigation had begun, ordering a halt of all operations.

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When the Kenya Ports Authority suspended the delivery of cargo to Autoports Container Freight Station and Portside Freight Terminals for 21 days, that was supposed to run from January 25 till February 15. But four days after this injunction, on January 29, KRA secured another decree, suspending the licences of the CFS.

According to KRA, the two ports were being investigated because the ports had helped the diversion of sugar into the Kenyan market, a criminal offence.

Just this Monday, the High Court announced another injunction ordering KRA and KPA to desist from meddling with the affairs of the two stations for a full week.

According to Mombasa Port OCPD Zacchaeus Ng’eno, the raid was on “orders from above.” And then he stated that investigations were to continue.

The orders from the courts had read;

Orders are that leave is granted on condition that the substantive notice of motion be filed within seven days from today owing to the disclosed urgency.

The rule from Justice PJ Otieno, presiding judge, had also read,

The company (Portside Freight Terminals) is allowed to challenge KRA’s decision to suspend its licence. In the meantime, a stay is granted suspending the respondent’s decision to stop the company’s operations until the suit is heard and determined.

Ng’eno said that the police was yet to see and verify the injunction from the court, insisting that until the court injunction from Monday is brought to the notice of the police force, and until the force ascertains the order’s authenticity, it would continue investigations into the matter.

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When asked for the time duration expected for the investigations to take, Ng’eno said he had no idea yet of how long the investigations could take nor the scope it could eventually cover.