A dispute over the ownership and exportation of minerals from Uganda valued at Ksh21.6 million ($216,000) will continue to be heard at a magistrate’s court in Mombasa, after the High Court dismissed an application that sought to quash the case.
Justice Eric Ogola dismissed an application by Namajimana Alex, K13R Ltd and Kerilee Investment Ltd seeking to have a case at a magistrate’s court quashed.
At the magistrate’s court, the case is between Krone (U) Ltd, Kerilee Investments Ltd, K13R Ltd and Mr Alex.
Through lawyer Ken Kibara, the applicants also wanted the High Court to quash orders issued by the lower court restraining them and Kenya Ports Authority from releasing the minerals for shipment to Toronto, Canada.
Krone (U) Ltd claims that it is engaged in mining business in Uganda and the minerals subject of court litigation belongs to it.
The company further claims that the three applicants had smuggled the minerals from Nyamuliro Wolfram mine to the Port of Mombasa.
Dismissing the case which was filed under Judicial Review, Justice Ogola said: “They ought to have prosecuted their application before the lower court, and the same determined by the court.”
The judge further noted that the minerals are subject of disputed ownership, which must be determined in the ongoing case at the magistrate’s court.
He said granting the applicants the orders they were seeking may lead to injustice if the issue of ownership remained contested.
Justice Ogola said the court’s jurisdiction to entertain Judicial Review applications should be exercised with caution.
“Parties should not be allowed to institute Judicial Review proceedings in situations where there are ongoing proceedings which can yield alternative remedies,” said Justice Ogola.