Nyeri County has received an injunction order to refrain from stopping a petroleum products company from establishing a liquiﬁed petroleum gas (LPG) plant in Aguthi/Gatitu village.
This is after the petroleum company got a go ahead to obtain a court order reverse decision by the county to stop construction works of the plant on account of a “public petition”.
Justice Yuvinalis Angima declared that the enforcement notice dated May 21, 2020 issued by the county government to the investor, Depar Limited, was a violation of the company’s right to fair administrative action.
“The devolved unit did not render any justification for the issuance of an enforcement notice stopping the project which was duly approved,” Angima ruled.
The judge stated that the county government did not file its response to the petition but two days to the judgment date it filed a preliminary objection seeking to have the petition struck out on grounds that the court had no powers to deal with the dispute.
According to the company’s chief executive officer, Engineer Linus Gitonga, the issuance of the enforcement notice was done without lawful justification or excuse.
He maintained that his company had obtained all the relevant approvals and licences from all the concerned authorities including the county government before commencement of the construction works like from the Kenya National Highways Authority, the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) and the County Government of Nyeri.
He said that he was not in breach of any of the terms of the approvals and licences which allowed it to undertake its construction project.
The county argued that a challenge to the issuance of an enforcement notice is a matter which is reserved for the County Physical and Land Use Planning Liaison Committee, under Section 78 of the Physical and Land Use Planning Act, 2019.
However, the court said that the petitioner ought to have aired out its grievances before the said committee and not a court of law.