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Blow to Kibos factory as County Assembly rejects key report

By Harold Odhiambo | November 1st 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Kibos Sugar factory has been dealt a fresh blow after the Kisumu County Assembly rejected a report it was seeking to rely on to build a court case.

The miller had been saved from closure by the Court of Appeal and the document was part of the evidence its lawyers were allowed to introduce.

On October 4, Kibos lawyers told justices Asike Makhandia, Philip Kiage and Otieno Odek that the High Court had failed to consider the environmental report, which gave the miller a clean bill of health. But according to fresh documents filed by the county assembly, there is no evidence the matter was ever discussed on the floor of the House.

Assembly Clerk Owen Ojuok said all proceedings are captured in the Hansard, the official report of debates in the chamber.

“The assembly confirms that it has no Hansard record of the contents of the Water, Environment and Natural Resources Committee report on pollution of rivers Kibos, Auji and Lie-Lango by Kibos Sugar Allied Industries Ltd,” said Mr Ojuok.

Committee vice chair Erick Ogola denied knowledge of the report and claimed their signatures were obtained fraudulently.

“The committee has never undertaken any fact-finding mission to investigate and to make an inquiry into the cause of the uncontrolled and continuous pollution of rivers,” his affidavit read.

In July this year, the environment court ordered Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries Ltd, Kibos Power Ltd and Kibos Distillers Ltd to halt operations over claims of pollution. The court had also found that the miller and two of its subsidiaries had obtained their licences illegally.

Kibos appealed, claiming important supporting documents were not presented before the judge. The court will deliver its verdict on December 19.


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