Governor Joseph Ole Lenku says former KQ CEO, Titus Naikuni, should be prosecuted for misadvising Tata Chemicals Company to divert a seasonal river.
Lenku also recommended the arrest of Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd top managers for working with Naikuni to divert Kisamis seasonal river some 100 kilometres away from their concessional land in Mosiro Ward.
“This impunity is set to destroy livelihoods of thousands of marginalised Mosiro Ward in Kajiado West Sub County,” said Lenku on Thursday evening in Rombo, Kajiado South Sub County.
Lenku termed an attack on “our people’s dignity” the Sh200 million diversion project funded by the multinational soda ash mining company.
In a rejoinder on Friday, Naikuni, told Lenku to make good his arrest threat, adding that any further insults and threats would force him to seek legal redress.
“Why is Lenku always jittery about me whenever he has a beef with Tata Chemicals Company?” asked Naikuni.
Walker Kontos and Company Advocates, while acting on behalf of Tata Chemicals, wrote to Lenku in his capacity as governor and as an individual explaining to him how the Mosiro community was involved in talks before the decision to divert Kisamis seasonal river from flowing into Lake Magadi.
The law firm, in the letter referenced T114/2/GK and dated March 12 and which we received its copy on Friday, told Lenku the decision to divert the river is to reduce the amount of silt it deposits into Lake Magadi.
“Lake Magadi is the source of the company’s raw materials. To enable TCML to better carry out its mining activities, inter alia, the company spent Sh200 million to develop a diversion of Kisamis seasonal river and in the construction of the dyke wall in an effort to protect the lake from siltation,” said the letter.
It said that one of the intended consequences of the works was to ensure the surrounding communities got to benefit from the clean and irrigation water that is diverted to them.
The letter was drafted after governor Lenku sent a team of engineers led by county roads department chief officer, Ezekiel Sampao, to tour the banks of Kisamis seasonal river in Mosiro on Tuesday along with the area MCA, Peter Tirishe.
Tirishe confirmed he was with the engineers but could reveal the mission of the engineers who Tata Chemical Company suspected to be planning to bring down the dyke wall.
On Thursday, the multinational mining company confirmed their fears after Lenku spoke in Kajiado South against the construction of the dykes.
Lenku said Tirishe supports the concerns of the people of Mosiro about the “illegal” construction of the dykes.
When we asked Tirishe why he and the people of Mosiro rubber-stamped the diversion in the first place, he said the decision was reached after the company pledged to extend its corporate social responsibility to the area.
The law firm told Lenku in the letter; “Take note that your threatened action of re-diverting Kisamis seasonal river to its original course would be illegal as it will re-introduce siltation to the lake.”
It further said re-diverting the seasonal river will place the Suswa/Lake Magadi ecosystem under ecological threat and also destroy sida ash element of the lake.
“Your threatened action will amount to an act of sabotage on the operations of Magadi mining company as there would not be any soda ash to be mined,” said the letter.
The lawyers also cited several court injunctions served to the county government by Kajiado High Court stopping it from interfering with the operations of Tata Chemicals.
Lenku and TCML have been on loggerheads over alleged unpaid rates and levies amounting to more than Sh17 billion owed by the mining company.