A multinational that mines soda ash in Lake Magadi faces a bleak future after its host County Government declined to renew its land lease.
Kajiado County Government has now officially said it will not renew the company’s lease for the land it occupies throwing the local community and the company’s staff into a fate of uncertainty.
The devolved unit declined to renew the land lease following an application by the company ahead of its lapse next year.
The letter seeking renewal of the land lease was written and signed by the company’s directors, Suboth Srivastav and Titus Naikuni.
Governor Joseph Ole Lenku’s administration has been at logger heads with the multinational over unpaid land rates arrears on its 180,000 acres of land amounting to Sh 11.4 Billion.
In a letter by the County Secretary Francis Sakuda, Lenku’s Government explains that the renewal of the lease and the payment of land rates were intertwined.
The letter accuses the company of dishonesty and bad faith by boycotting the arbitration process ordered by the Kajiado High Court in 2019 between the warring parties and which were being midwifed by the Ministry of Mining.
In 2019, Former Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes convened the arbitration consultative meetings between the County Government and the Company and which the latter never attended.
Since he got into office in 2017, Governor Lenku has been in the forefront in agitating for payment of the land rates by the investor “just like every other land owner.”
The matter has been in court and it remains to be seen what will happen after the arbitration talks collapsed following the non-cooperation from the Investor’s side.
The company has said in court that it is incapable of paying the land rates because it has been making losses in its businesses.
Lenku has challenged the company to ship out of Kajiado if it has been making losses all these years despite Mining Soda Ash worth billions of shillings.
The company’s future now hangs on a thread following the setback on renewal of the land lease by the County Government.