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Court Takes County, Tata Battles to Magadi

Tata Chemicals Ltd and Kajiado County Government lawyers on Wednesday attempted to outdo each other during an outdoor court in a fact-finding mission.

Lawyer Sankale Nayiani -left- with Magadi ward admin, Julius Rikanka in Magadi today.

Presiding over the court was Kajiado High Court Registrar, Edwin Mulochi, who was acting on Justice Reuben Nyakundi’s direction to move a court fact-finding mission to Magadi town.

Two separate petitions at Kajiado High Court have been filed by Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd accusing the county government of disobeying a court order stopping it from encroaching on its land, while the county has accused the company of “illegally’ demolishing its structures in Magadi.

Geoffrey Maritim.

Mulochi allowed two witnesses from each side to state their cases after which lawyers from the opposite sides were also given chances to cross-examine them.

Greg Karungo, a partner at Walker Kontos, is representing Tata Chemicals, while Sankale Suyianka is representing the county government.

Edwin Mulochi.

Karungo took Magadi Ward Administrator, Julius Rikanka, to task when he was asked to produced legal construction certificates issued to the county government to be able to build offices on Magadi leased land.

Rikanka said documents are there but were unable to produce them before the court. He was also asked if there was signpost at the construction site indicating valuers, contractor and the financier of the construction, which he answered in the affirmative but explained they were run over by company bulldozers during the demolition last Saturday.

Greg Karinko grills county witnesses.

But Magadi town assistant Chief Joseph Kayioni contradicted Rikanka when he said he never saw any construction signpost on the site.

Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd Security Manager, Geoffrey Maritim, stole the show when he came face to face with lawyer Mayiani and told him structures put up by the county government was illegal and had not been sanctioned by the company.

Francis Sakimpa.

Another company employee, Francis Sakimpa, explained to the court that the county government had made a request for the construction of its offices but moved to the site before the application was approved.

“At Tata Chemicals, we follow standards and we cannot just approve constructions of any kind without the sanctioning by the appropriate committee,” said Sakimpa.

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