Kwale International Sugar Company Ltd (Kiscol) has resumed operations after it won a case against Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) over a closure order.
This follows a ruling by High Court Judge Eric Ogola, who said the Kebs order lacked validity.
Kiscol Outgrowers Society members, led by chairman David Ndirangu, said the milling plant resumed cane crushing last week after being shut for one and a half years.
“We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. This is early Christmas for over 1,000 of our outgrower farmers,” said Ndirangu.
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The management of Kiscol went to court to challenge the closure of the miller by a multi-agency team in June 2018, which the court said was illegal.
“This court is satisfied that the petitioner has demonstrated that its factory was closed without the due process of the law and without disclosure of written reasons for the decision,” said Justice Ogola in a judgement dated November 7, 2019.
“In view of my findings and conclusion of this matter… I make the following orders … the order declaring the seizures of the petitioner’s factory, warehouses and stores by respondents herein illegal and unconstitutional.”
The court ordered Kebs to renew the miller’s standardisation permits, lift seizures and allow owners access to its warehouses and stores.
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A permanent injunction restraining Kebs, its agents from purporting to seize the millers sugar consignment stored in its warehouse was also issued.
The miller will receive Sh59 million as compensation.
The compensation covers losses incurred by the miller when its premises were closed down and detention of 93,359 bags of sugar now found to be compliant with the standards.