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Court blocks Telkom bosses trial in Sh14bn city land suit

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Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The High Court has blocked the planned private prosecution of senior officials of Telkom Kenya, among them chief executive officer Mugo Kibati over a disputed Sh14bn parcel of land on Nairobi’s Ngong Road.
  • Justice Anthony Mrima put on hold plans by Postel Housing Co-operative Society Ltd to privately prosecute current and former directors of Telkom over 60-acre land deal brokered in 1993.

The High Court has blocked the planned private prosecution of senior officials of Telkom Kenya, among them chief executive officer Mugo Kibati over a disputed Sh14bn parcel of land on Nairobi’s Ngong Road.

Justice Anthony Mrima put on hold plans by Postel Housing Co-operative Society Ltd to privately prosecute current and former directors of Telkom over 60-acre land deal brokered in 1993.

“Pending the interpartes hearing of the notice of motion and the petition, there be a conservatory order restraining the intended private prosecution of the petitioners herein,” the Judge said.

Telkom through lawyer Kamau Karori moved to court to challenge the criminal charges against its directors arguing that the case was an abuse of the court process, given that the same matter was pending before the commercial division of the High Court.

Further, Mr Karori questioned why officials of the cooperative society had to wait for more than 28 years to institute the charges.

“This is contrary to the objective of the criminal justice system and is an abuse of the court process,” he argued.

Justice Mrima directed the parties to appear before him on January 24, for highlighting of submissions filed.

In the petition, Telkom argues that criminal proceedings initiated by officials of Postel is targeting executives and directors who were not in the telco when the land deal was brokered in 1993.

Senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot had on October 8 allowed officials of the society to privately prosecute the former and current directors.

The magistrate directed the officials to appear before him on November 8 on grounds that they sold the land to a third party in 2011 despite the property having been transferred to Postel in 1993.