Govt to appeal court order blocking construction of new ferry

The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) says it will fight a High Court decision stopping the ongoing construction of one of two ferries worth Sh2 billion in Turkey.

Lawyer Cecil Miller told Justice Erick Ogola yesterday that his client (KFS) was aggrieved with his order not to continue building the vessel pending the hearing and determination of an application filed by a firm - Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors.

“We seek leave to appeal in as far as the second ferry is considered. We have are glad with the other court decision,” added Mr Miller.
Bonriz is the company that filed a petition warning that the quality of the two vessels were inferior.

The firm was also questioning the current cost of the two ferries, saying it was revised upwards without justification.

Justice Ogola this week issued orders allowing the first vessel, MV Jambo, to be deployed along the Likoni channel after its seaworthiness has been determined.

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He further ordered KFS to ensure the new vessel meets local and international safety standards before being allowed to ferry commuters between Mombasa Island and the mainland.

However, he said that Bonriz had raised an arguable case against the second ferry, which would have been due in the country in November this year.

Challenge decision

On its part, Bonriz - through lawyer Gikandi Ngibuni - also indicated that it would appeal against the decision to allow KFS to put MV Jambo to use.

According to Mr Gikandi, they will move to the appeal court to quash the decision by Justice Ogola.

The firm claims that the ferries were being made using substandard materials against the express standards agreed upon in the contract with the ship builder.

This article was published by the BUSINESS DAILY on August 3, 2017