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Lake Turkana wind energy firm land case hit by snag

Turkana herdsboy
A Turkana herdsboy near turbines at the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Loiyangalani. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Hearing of a case where residents of Marsabit County have opposed acquisition of 150,000 acres for a Sh75 billion wind power project failed to kick off Monday after the court learnt that a key witness had died.

The case, which was to proceed for 10 days, was set to commence Monday but residents informed the court that they were seeking to replace the witness.

They are opposed to the manner in which Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) Limited was allocated their ancestral land, alleging that it was not done in accordance with the Trust Land Act and the Constitution.

Mohamed Itarakwa, Kochale Jomo Jale, Issa Jitengwe Gambare, David Tomasot Arakhole, William Lengoiyap and Sekotey Seye filed the case on behalf of residents.

The deceased and other plaintiffs, represented by lawyer Sagana Biriq, were supposed to take the witness box for the first two days.

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The residents say they cannot access the expansive land for grazing and want the title deed issued to the wind power company, which plans to generate 300 megawatts, nullified.

They have enjoined the Marsabit County, Attorney-General, the Chief Land Registrar and the National Land Commission as respondents.

A three-judge bench comprising Boaz Olao, Enock Cherono and Lucy Mbugua gave the plaintiffs three days to file a fresh witness statement and allow the defendants time to respond.

On Monday, a team of lawyers led by former Attorney-General Githu Muigai, representing Turkana Wind Power Limited urged the court to adjourn the matter for 10 days.

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