Court orders Governor Waititu to process Tatu City plans

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. Tatu City and Kofinaf Ltd have accused him of blackmail after the developer refused to surrender free land he was requesting for. [File, Standard]
The Environment and Land court in Thika on Monday ordered Kiambu County Government to process building approvals submitted by Tatu City within 30 days.

Justice Lucy Gacheru issued the orders following an application by Tatu City on March 12, in which the company accused the county government of refusing to approve their building plans.

In papers filed in court, Tatu City and Kofinaf Ltd accused Governor Ferdinand Waititu of blackmail after the developer refused to surrender free land he was requesting for.

The applicants are also seeking to have Kiambu County executive member or the chief officer in-charge of Lands, Housing, Physical, Urban Development and Management committed to jail for disobeying a court order.

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The developer has accused the county government of disobeying orders issued by the same court on April 18, 2018 directing it to continue approving building plans relating to the company pending the outcome of the case.

“Despite the county government being served with the orders, it has refused to consider planning permissions pertaining to Tatu City to the detriment of the development’s progress,” the applicants say in the suit documents filed in court.

But in the Monday ruling, the court set May 21 for the confirmation of compliance of the orders and to give further directions.

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Tatu City is a 5,000-acre mixed-use development area with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics nature areas, a sport entertainment complex and industrial park that will host factories.

The order by the court gives hope to investors whose 11 building approvals have been lying at the county government.

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In February the county government, through the county secretary Martin Njogu, placed an advert in the local dailies informing all land owners and developers in the county who have not surrendered 10 per cent of their land to do so.

“The Physical Planning Act states that any developer must surrender 10 per cent of land to the county government for public use. That is what we are telling Tatu City to do. Approval of building plans will be hinged on the compliance with the law,” said Waititu.

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Kiambu CountyTatu CityTatu City plansFerdinand Waititu