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Kenya Power loses bid to stop Nairobi County from demanding rent for poles

Kenya Power had sued the Nairobi County for demanding the amount on December 14, 2011 as annual rent for its electricity poles that stand on road reserves/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – Kenya Power has lost a bid to stop the Nairobi County Government from demanding over Sh600 million as rent charges for electricity poles that stand on road reserves.

Judge John Mativo has refused to issue a stay order and find that the amount owed to the Nairobi County should be borne by the National Government.

According to Justice Mativo, the orders sought by Kenya Power could have been granted if all the parties that were involved when the legal notice No. 8494 was issued in 2001under the Local Government Act participated in the proceedings.

“The order sought cannot be granted to defeat clear provisions of a statutory statute that is within the law. I find no basis to condemn the national government to pay such sums,” he ruled.

Kenya Power had sued the Nairobi County for demanding the amount on December 14, 2011 as annual rent for its electricity poles that stand on road reserves.

The disputed amount was to be paid as “annual rent for way leave space on road reserves,”

But the electricity distributing firm refused to pay the amount insisting that the Act did not authorise such payment.

To pay the amount demanded, Kenya Power argued that it would require revision of the tariffs it charges its consumers.

Kenya Power has argued that if compelled to pay the amount, the imposition and payment of the levies charged on poles will have negative impact on the consumer.

But the County has defended the legal notice insisting that under the Act it is mandated to demand and impose rents, fees or charges in respect of any person or matters within its jurisdiction.

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It has denied exceeding its powers under the Act to control and take care of all public streets and road reserves within its area.

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