Court bars new Kifwa officials from taking office



Court bars new Kifwa officials from taking office

Msa court pic

Mombasa Law Courts in this picture taken on July 9, 2020. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

The High Court has temporarily barred new officials of Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) in Mombasa from taking over office.

Justice Njoki Mwangi sitting in Mombasa issued the order pending the hearing and determination of an application by Michael Omondi, a member of the association, who is challenging an annual general meeting (AGM) held last month.

Mr Omondi is accusing the managing committee members of Kifwa Mombasa branch, whom he has sued, of conducting the AGM unprocedural contrary to the association’s constitution.

He wants the court to issue an order a fresh annual general meeting held in accordance with the Kifwa constitution and that provisions be made for members aged 58 years and above to attend and participate virtually.

The petitioner says that the association’s constitution provides mechanisms and procedures of meetings including the AGM.

In his suit documents, Mr Omondi further says that only 99 members were in attendance at the AGM against membership of 423.

“The quorum for the Kifwa general meeting is 25 per cent of the paid-up members as per the constitution, the 99 members did not form the quorum of an AGM as per the Kifwa constitution,” argues Mr Omondi.

He said the association capped physical attendance at 100 people in line with the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols but failed to provide an alternative means virtually for others thus denying many members an opportunity to participate.

“There was no proper mechanism of authenticating and vetting the proxies who attended the AGM and even took part in the elections,” says Mr Omondi.

He said that many members above 58 years did not attend the AGM due to Covid-19 and no alternative means for virtual attendance was provided for them to participate.

The plaintiff also argues that other items in the agenda of an AGM were not discussed exhaustively but were skipped or mentioned in a rush.

“Despite the demand to the defendants and notice to sue, they (defendants) have refused to rectify the anomaly thus rendering this suit necessary,” argues Mr Omondi.

Mr Omondi also wants a permanent injunction issued preventing the new officials from taking over office and in the alternative, an order for the status quo be maintained pending the holding of another AGM.

He also wants the court to find and determine that there was no AGM conducted as per the association’s constitution.

The petition will be heard on April 19.

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