Animosity between Kajiado County and Tata Chemicals over disputed rates shot up on Monday, as askaris mounted roadblocks to impose new road levies on them.
This happened at Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd moves to court on Tuesday to seek a legal interpretation on the High Court ruling in Kajiado last week that stopped the county government from trespassing into its property.
The company claims the county government on Saturday ignored a court order that clearly stated it should not trespass into her property and went on to put up structures on their land in Magadi.
After the demolition of the company’s property in Magadi on Saturday morning, the county security committee allegedly instructed the DCI to arrest two board members, a security officer and the company’s chief executive officer and record statements from them.
[On Sunday night, more than 50 askaris were transported to Tata Chemicals’ plant in Magadi where they toured all processing sections of the plants.
“They came and inspected the plant without uttering any word to the workers and in the morning of Monday, one group moved to Nkurruman and Olkiramatian to check on our water pipeline,” said a senior security officer.
The company’s security officer, who sought anonymity, said the section of the askaris were pelted with stones in Nkurruman and had to abandon what they intended to do.
Two weeks ago, governor Joseph Lenku threatened to shut down two water uptakes in Olkiramatian if Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd will not pay more than Sh17 billion in land rates dating back to 2013.
But the company, Tata Chemicals board member Titus Naikuni, insists the water the governor is talking about has its source in Narok county.
The operation to collect road levies from the trucks carrying Tata Chemicals products was led by the county director of revenue, David Muntet.
Several county askaris mounted a roadblock at the gate of Tata Chemicals’ godowns in Kajiado town where they charged every truck Sh2, 000 as road levy.
The stores in Kajiado keep livestock salt lick stones and soda ash used for making glasses. Every vehicle coming out of the stores was compelled to pay Sh2, 000.
The court in Kajiado has given Tata Chemicals a temporary reprieve of not paying any rates to the county government until February 5, when hearing of the constitutional petition case on land rates proceeds and determined.