, KAJIADO, Kenya, Feb 12 – Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku has drafted in the County Assembly in his bid to compel a soda ash investor to either pay up Sh17 billion in rates arrears or release the land under its lease.
Lenku asserts that Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd must abide by the county ‘s Finance Act, Mining Act and the Public Health Acts or close shop.
He has faulted the company’s failure to fulfil its tax obligations to the County Government despite holding 224,000 acres of community land.
“The company uses only about 20,000 acres of land yet they occupy so much land that our people are squatters,” said the governor.
While opening the County Assembly’ First Sitting of the Third Session Tuesday afternoon, Governor Lenku reiterated it was time the company’s corporate injustices were corrected.
Addressing the media later together with Speaker Johnson Osoi, Majority Leader Julius Moipai, Minority Leader Francis Marsha and other MACs, the leaders expressed support for the rates payment.
“All corporates pay taxes. Wananchi pay levies. We support the governor,” said Moipai.
Speaker Osoi said the Assembly was seized of the dispute and would support the Executive in all its endeavours.
“Our unity of purpose is very strong. We are forging together as one government,” said Osoi.
In his speech at the Assembly, Governor Lenku said the Kajiado depot of the company will be closed for failure to comply with the Public Health Act.
“We have heard the cry of Kajiado Town’s people on pollution from the soda ash company. Our law on that matter will be fully implemented,” he said.
A fortnight ago, the company demolished a County Government’s upcoming office block in Magadi Township citing trespass.
It has since obtained a court order barring the county from trespass or interfering with its operations.