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Judge orders that Tatu City cases be consolidated

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An artist’s impression of the proposed Tatu City project.  File

An artist’s impression of the proposed Tatu City project. File 

By BENSON WAMBUGU

Posted  Monday, April 16  2012 at  19:50

Suits delaying the construction of the multi-billion-shilling Tatu City project will now be consolidated and heard by one judge, Lady Justice Mary Ang’awa ruled on Monday.

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She issued the orders during the mention of a civil case filed by minority shareholders Stephen Mbugua Mwagiru and Rosemary Wanja, which is seeking to lift caveats placed on the parcel of land.

The Tatu City project, led by Moscow-based investment bank Renaissance Capital, has earmarked the 1,000 hectares in Kiambu County to build a city of 62,000 residents.

Lady Justice Ang’awa said two winding up petitions and another case seeking to lift the caveats placed on the property should be referred to the Commercial Division for determination.

She, however, directed that a criminal case against Ms Wanja and Mr Mwagiru should proceed at the Criminal Division while a constitutional reference also filed by the two shareholders should be heard at the Constitutional and Human Rights Division.

She noted that the cases were pending before various divisions of the High Court while two applications were pending determination at the Court of Appeal.

Gibson Kamau Kuria, who together with Paul Wamae and Mutula Kilonzo Junior are representing the minority shareholders, told the court there were nine applications pending at the High Court, but Ochieng’ Oduol, for Tatu City. said there were only two cases pending.

He said one application is seeking to strike out the petition to wind up the company and another is seeking the appointment of an interim liquidator.

Lady Justice Ang’awa referred the bulky files to the presiding Commercial Court Division judge, Mr Justice Daniel Musinga, for directions on April 23.

On April 3, Mr Justice Jonathan Havelock quit the Sh240 billion dispute amid accusations of conflict of interest and referred the matter to Mr Justice Musinga, even after the majority shareholders had withdrawn an application seeking his disqualification and apologised to him.

The majority shareholders had accused Mr Justice Havelock of having acted for Tatu City’s sister company, Kofinaf, while in private practice as a partner at Kaplan and Stratton Advocates.

They had also claimed that the judge was acquainted with one of the minority shareholders Mr Mwagiru.