KENYA – Sweets manufacturer Kenafric Industries Limited has lost a High Court bid to stop its closure by the Nairobi City County over pollution.

Kenafric now faces an uncertain future after the court dismissed its case opposing the county’s closure notice for allegedly failing to comply with National Environment Management Authority (Nema) rules.

In striking out the case, Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili noted that Kenafric had failed to comply with an order that it files all the evidence, within seven days from December 4, 2015, that it had complied with Nema rules and other requirements by the county on health safety.

“Legal business can no longer be handled is such a sloppy and careless manner. Some clients must learn at their costs that the consequence of careless and leisurely approach to work must fall on their shoulders…” the judge ruled.

Justice Aburili added: “Justice must look both ways as the rules of procedure are meant to regulate administration of justice and they are not meant to assist the insolent.”

She said the court cannot ignore the consent entered by lawyer Kevin Mogen for Kenafric and Mr Titus Koceyo for NCC on December 4, 2015 and “which was endorsed by the court directing how the case will be heard and determined.”

She thus ruled that the case, filed by Mr Mogeni on December 15, 2015 is incompetent as it is incapable of being adjudicated by the court.

“Failure to comply with the consent rendered the motion as filed highly and fatally incompetent and incapable of being cured by Article 159 of the Constitution which stipulates that justice shall be administered without undue regard to procedural technicalities,” Justice Aburili observed.

No costs awarded

She declined to award any costs to any party as the “ incompetency of the suit was a discovery of the court.

Kenafric has denied the allegation by NCC that it was polluting the environment saying it had complied with all the Nema rules.

“We have set up an Xirowet effluent treating plant which has had its discharges examined by the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and it has been confirmed to meet all the health and environmental standards,” Mr Ketan Shah states in an affidavit filed in court.

Mr Shah further states that they apply to Nema annually to conduct an impact assessment of their operations to ensure “ they comply with various legislations.”

“Besides the Nema assessment we have contracted highly sophisticated scientific measures to undertake evaluation of its effluent to ensure that the discharges are environmentally friendly,” Mr Shah stated in the case before Justice Aburili.

Kenafric is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of sweets, foodstuffs, shoes, exercise books and other industrial packs in the country.

The striking of the case now spells doom to over 1,000 workers whose jobs are now at risk should the company shut down.

June 12, 2017: Business Daily