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Companies

Titanium miner, Mombasa in row over new offloading fee

Simon Wall
Base Titanium external affairs general manager Simon Wall during a July briefing. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Base Titanium has sued Mombasa county government seeking to quash a decision to charge offloading fees on minerals delivered at its private storage facility in Likoni.

The Australian firm is also challenging a decision by the devolved unit to block its vehicles from using public roads within its jurisdiction until payment of the offloading fees.

In his affidavit, general manager in charge of external affairs Simon Wall says that on October 26, the county government stopped three trucks at a check point located on the boundary of Mombasa and Kwale counties and demanded the company to pay Sh6,800 for each truck.

In its application at the High Court in Mombasa, the company argues that the Ali Hassan Joho-led county administration has no powers to deny it the right to use any public road.

Base Titanium, which has also named the Attorney-General as a respondent, says the county government has no powers to pass legislation or impose charges on its minerals.

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It argues that the decision to prohibit its vehicles from using public roads and to impose charges on its minerals destined for export is contrary to the Constitution and therefore null and void.

“The decision is arbitrary, oppressive and violates the applicant’s rights under Article 47 of the Constitution to an administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair,” argues the company in its application.

“In order to bring its minerals products to the Mombasa port or its private holding facility at Likoni, the applicant transports the products in trucks that travel along national public or urban roads,” states Mr Wall.

Mr Wall says that the company lawyers wrote to their county government counterparts informing on the issue and requesting to be allowed to use the road but there was no response to the letter as the company’s trucks remained detained until October 31 when they were released and allowed to go back to Kwale.

“The discussions with the county government were not successful and it insisted that the payment must be made before the trucks can be given access or allowed to use the road,” says Mr Wall.

Justice Eric Ogola certified the application by Base Titanium as urgent and fixed it’s for hearing on November 13.

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