The High Court has quashed the decision to rename Dik Dik Road in Kileleshwa, Nairobi after Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli for not subjecting the process to public participation.
Justice Anthony Mrima said the decision made by the Nairobi County government on May 27, 2021 was in violation of the constitution as the residents’ views were not sought before the name change.
The judge said having decided to re-name the road, the least the county government would have done was to call for a form of stakeholders’ engagement, as required by the constitution.
Having so acted, the Respondents were in clear derogation of the constitutional principle of public participation as enshrined in Articles 10(2), 174 and 232(1)(d) and (h) of the Constitution.
Justice Mrima further said Mr Atwoli should also have ensured that the decision was within the constitution and the law, after he was informed of the decision to name the public road after him.
“Therefore, the decision to re-name the Dik Dik Road to Francis Atwoli Road by the Respondents is hereby quashed,” Justice Anthony Mrima said.
The residents of Dik Dik Gardens led by their officials Mr Arnold Kipkoti, Mr Adrian Kanchoro Mulata and Anuj Rajani moved to court faulting the county’s decision.
The residents stated that the road is used and maintained by them and members of the public visiting the estate.
It was their argument that any administrative action by any government agency should, therefore, be done with prior notice, concurrence and participation or at least their opinion considered.
The court was informed that Mr Atwoli, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary general owns a residential home in the estate and is a member of the association who participated or was aware that the road to the estate was collectively named Dik Dik Road by the residents.
The petitioners asserted that the county government and Mr Atwoli are public and state officers who must act in strict compliance with the Constitution by being consistent with objects of the Constitution as opposed to engaging in personal interests and friendships.
The county government opposed the case and argued that the residents were mistaken to believe that the road is a private road, yet it was constructed and is maintained by Kenya Urban Roads Authority.
The county government contended that the decision to re-name the road was its responsibility and an internal decision making process and there was no need of subjecting the processes to public participation.
Mr Atwoli on his part said he was not aware of any rights or law he or the county government violated.
He denied hiring goons to protect the signage and maintained that he was only a beneficiary of the county government’s internal process in renaming of Dik Dik Road, a process that falls squarely within its ambit.