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Court suspends US firm’s telecommunications tower project in Kilifi

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Court suspends US firm’s telecommunications tower project in Kilifi


A mobile telecommunications tower. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • The Malindi Land and Environment Court (ELC) temporarily halted the project following a complaint by six Italian investors.
  • The six sued Ms Alice Kuria, Ms SaraH Kuria, ATC (Kenya), the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Kilifi county government.
  • ELC Malindi Judge Millicent Odeny refused to have the matter transferred to NET.

The global tower company American Towers Corporation (Kenya) suffered a severe blow after the court suspended the installation of telecommunications masts in Kilifi County pending the resolution of the case.

The Malindi Land and Environment Court (ELC) temporarily halted the project following a complaint by six Italian investors. ATC is installing the tower of Base Transceiver Stations in Malindi as it seeks to expand its presence in the country.

Paolo Di Maria and five other Italian investors went to court to oppose the project, claiming ownership of the land.

The six sued Ms Alice Kuria, Ms SaraH Kuria, ATC (Kenya), the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Kilifi county government.

The court also refused to refer the dispute to the National Environmental Court (NET) for resolution, stating that the court has jurisdiction to determine any dispute related to the environment and land.

“I believe that the court has the necessary jurisdiction to determine the plaintiffs’ claim in accordance with the law, which gives the court a broad mandate to handle environmental and land-related matters. Therefore, I consider that the preliminary objection is unfounded and is dismissed, ”said the judge.

The court granted the orders and ordered that the request be served on the defendants for an interparty hearing.

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