The matter that was filed by the Kenyan Peasants League (KPL) and other petitioners challenging the lifting of the ban on GMOs in Kenya came up for the first time before Justice Lawrence Mugambi; this is after Lady Justice Mugure Thand犀利士 e who first heard the matter at Milimani and granted interim orders barring the importation and distribution of GMO orga犀利士 nisms pending the determination of the case was transferred to the High Court in Malindi.
The case had been scheduled for hearing for the 4th to the 7th of December 2024 by Justice Thande but they have now been taken out by Justice Mugambi; the Judge has asked parties to submit before him whether or not the recent highly publicized Judgment by the Environment and Land Court on the adoption process of GMO Maize renders the Petitions before the High Court moot.
Advocates for the Petitioners Mr. Kevin Oriri (for KPL), Mr. Paul Mwangi, Ms. Emily Kinama, Dr. John Khaminwa, Mr Evans Gakuru and Mr. Munaawa argued that the ELC case had absolutely no bearing with the pending cases and that the jurisdictions of the two Court were very distinct. Advocates of the Respondents Mr. Eric Gumbo & Dr. Muthomi Thionkolu argued that the ELC Judgment settled the issues in all the Petitions
Lady Justice Mugure Thande had earlier on on 30th June 2023 made a finding that the cases before her and the one that was eventually transferred to the Environment and Land Court, although arising from similar set of facts were seeking different reliefs and therefore could best be determined separately in the two different jurisdictions to avoid a miscarriage of justice.
The KPL reads mischief on the decision by Justice Mugambi asking the parties to submit before him whether or not the Judgment by the Environment and Land Court on the adoption process of GMO Maize renders the Petitions before the High Court moot since the matter of the judgement by the ELC was not scheduled to be part of discussions in court today. “We view this as an attempt by some invisible powerful actors to bring GMOs into Kenya illegally and unconstitutionally. We reiterate that the judgement by the ELC did not vacate interim orders by Lady Justice Mugure Thandi barring the importation and distribution of GMO organisms pending the determination of the case” said Cidi Otieno, the National Coordinator, KPL, one of the petitioners.
Parties will come back before Justice Lawrence Mugambi on 5th February 2024 for further directions on how to proceed. The Orders by Justice Thande barring the importation and distribution of GMO organisms remain in place until final determination of the petitions