AG to appeal Sh11b award to Orbit

October 16, 2012 3:49 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The State will appeal against a High Court decision that awarded Orbit Chemical Industries Limited Sh11 billion in a case over a piece of land in Nairobi.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai on Tuesday wrote to the Court of Appeal giving notice of appeal in which he intends to challenge the whole Judgment issued by Justice Roselyn Nambuye.

A statement from Muigai’s office said that: “The grounds for the appeal are that the Attorney-General is dissatisfied with the Judgment and Decree delivered in the High Court of Kenya in Nairobi on the 11th day of October 2012.”

The AG has in the meantime written to the Deputy Registrar of the High Court to supply his office with the certified copies of the proceedings, Judgement and Decree matter for purposes of an appeal.

The government was last Thursday ordered to pay a local manufacturing firm, Orbit Chemical Industries, in excess of Sh11.4 billion for loss of use of its 100 acre-prime land in Embakasi.

The government would have paid Sh6 billion when they first entered an agreement to settle the matter in 2008 which has now attracted interest of more than Sh5 billion.

“By reason of what has been stated, an order be and is hereby made and ordered that judgment be and is hereby entered against the defendant in the sum of Sh6 billion,” Justice Roselyn Nambuye said in the ruling.

The Judge said that since the interest was not included in the compromise, the court ordered interest to run at court rates from March 2008 when as assessment was done.

“The plaintiff will have costs of the suit as well as application paid for by the defendants,” Justice Nambuye said.

Orbit Chemical Industries which was represented in the suit by lawyer Mathew Oseko had moved to court seeking vacant possession of the multi-billion shilling property or appropriate compensation for loss of investment opportunities.

Oseko had told the court that Orbit had bought the land from National Bank of Kenya with the aim of developing a chemical plant and other investments.

In September 1987, the Registrar of Titles registered a caveat against the said land effectively blocking the registered owners of the prime land claiming the government had an interest in it.

“The source of grievance which compelled the plaintiff to move to court and seek the court’s intervention is that the plaintiff contends that the registrar had no power to register a caveat against the said title,” part of the landmark ruling read in part.

The land mark ruling which is seen as a morale booster to investors states that by “reason of the aforesaid unlawful registration of the said caveat against the plaintiff’s suit land, the said caveat prohibited all and any dealings with the land absolutely.”

As such, the judge noted, the defendants caused the plaintiffs land to remain unoccupied and was thereafter invaded by squatters.

In issuing the ruling, the judge said she had taken note of the fact that the defendant did not evict squatters from the disputed land despite numerous pleas by the defendant—Orbit Chemical Industries Limited.



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