Fate of the most photographed city in Africa, Mombasa City, now hangs in the balance

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho
  • Best Lady Cosmetic Ltd, through lawyer Lesaigor Marcelino, has sued the county, arguing that the directive requiring all residential and commercial buildings to have uniform colours is likely to hamper its business of 15 years.
  • The cosmetic firm says its colour is pink while the county government wants the CBD painted white and blue.
  • On June 2018, Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho issued an administration directive instructing all buildings within the coastal City be painted white with blue colour.

The fate of Mombasa City, arguably the most photographed city in Africa, now hangs in the balance over a change of colour directive.

Best Lady Cosmetic Ltd, through lawyer Lesaigor Marcelino, has sued the county, over what it terms as hurting its brand and earnings, arguing that the directive requiring all residential and commercial buildings to have uniform colours is likely to hamper its business of 15 years. The lawyer said a different colour will lead to loss of customers and business earnings.

The cosmetic firm says its colour is pink while the county government wants the CBD painted white and blue.

On June 2018, Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho issued an administration directive instructing all buildings within the coastal City be painted white with blue colour.

According to the order, all buildings in the CBD and Old Town are to be painted in white with Egyptian blue border on the edges and windows above without any sign written on the wall or canopy.

We picked the colour blue because it represents our heritage, the sea that is around us. The ocean is dear to our hearts. As a people we encounter it every day. People are asking why, but Mombasa has always been a tourist destination and we want to regain what we had lost,” Transport, Infrastructure and Public Works County Executive Tawfiq Balala said.

The governor’s uniform colour order is aimed at promoting culture, preserve heritage and promote the county as a tourism hub.

Mombasa Judge Eric Ogola has now ordered Hassan Joho's governement and Best Lady to get a room and reach a deal.

The judge has directed the administration of governor Hassan Joho to have talks with Best Lady to ensure that its business and those of others are not compromised by the directive.

The parties are hereby directed to mediate on the issues raised in the petition within 30 days before the court considers delivering its ruling,” the judge said.

The case is being closely followed by business communities in Mombasa and in case the court rules in favor of Best Lady the ruling is likely to setup a precedence.

The matter will be mentioned on February 27.

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