Kenya Power loses Sh605m wayleaves suit

Kenya Power technicians at work. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya Power technicians at work. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC has lost a bid to evade paying charges for poles and wayleave on grounds in a Sh605.6 million dispute with the Nairobi City County.

High Court judge John Mativo on Friday ruled that Kenya Power should lawfully pay way-leave charges.

However, the judge pointed out that a dispute about laws surrounding that payment is a civil one and not a constitutional matter.

Mr Justice Mativo, therefore, declined to stop City Hall from demanding such monies from Kenya Power saying that the company did not prove that the law had been violated in seeking of the charges.

“First, the tests for granting injunctions have not been satisfied. It is trite law that an injunction cannot be issued to defeat clear provisions of a statute,” he said.

The dispute arose when Kenya Power received a February 18 demand letter from City Hall informing it of an intended clamping down of poles and wayleave should the company fail to clear the debt by February 29.

Kenya Power had argued that it is the central government, which has the responsibility of making such payments that they were accused of failing to pay.

The judge also declined to condemn the national government for failing to pay the disputed charges saying that the matter needed to be solved by both levels of governments considering that there exists a dispute regarding laws on the matter.

“It is my view that the impugned legal notice has not been shown to be unreasonable or violating Section 48 of the local government Act as alleged, it is logically related to the legitimate purpose of collecting revenue as provided under the law,” Mr Justice Mativo ruled.