The high court in Kajiado on Tuesday stopped the county government from constructing any structures in Magadi town, land leased by Tata Chemicals.
Justice Reuben Nyakundi, while ruling on a petition raised by Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd in the court, stopped Kajiado county government from erecting any structures on the leased land in Magadi town.
Nyakundi further elaborated that his orders do not mean, in any way, he has stopped the county from carrying out its normal activities within the law.
Tata Chemicals filed a petition stopping the county government from putting up structures on its properties in Magadi after the company demolished the foundation of administrative offices that were under construction in the town on Saturday last week.
Justice Nyakundi upheld his order made on January 24 prohibiting the county government from clamping its vehicles and gates to Tata Chemicals’ premises and properties in the region until a petition case pending in court is heard and determined.
“Before this court, there is a constitutional petition on the land rates being levied on Tata Chemicals. Today I am instructing the registrar of this honourable court to visit Magadi town on February 6 and provide a detailed report on the demolition carried out by Tata on county structures,” said Nyakundi.
Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd is represented in the High Court by Greg Karungo, a Disputes Resolution Partner in the Firm of Walker Kontos, which is affiliated to Global Law Firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
The County Government on its part is represented by Sankale Mayiani of Tobiko Njoroge & Co. Advocates.
The multinational company is in a tussle with the county government over an outstanding bill of land rates amounting to more than Sh17 billion dated to 2013.
Nyakundi also instructed the two contesting parties to provide lease legal agreements to the court for perusal on February 11, and the case is to be heard on February 26.
“It is necessary that we look at those binding laws around that lease so that we can be able to understand what the two parties are talking about.
Tata Chemicals lawyer, Karungo, said the lease to the land was issued to Magadi Soda in 1928 by the colonial government and later the national government.
Tata Chemicals lawyers agreed to concede some of the orders contained in a court injunction issued at Kajiado High Court on January 31 which was seeking the county government from freely carrying its operation in Magadi.
Karungo said he had no objection but appealed to the court to protect his client from the newly introduced levies imposed on his client.