Reprieve for Embu County as High Court Directs Resumption of Infrastructure projects

The high court in Embu has dismissed a petition seeking to stall the county infrastructure projects worth over Kshs 600 million.

In a ruling last week, high court judge Lady Justice Lucy Njuguna dismissed the petition with costs ruling that the Embu County Government would have been greatly prejudiced because stalling the implementation of the county budget for the financial year 2020-2021 would mean the funds meant for development of infrastructure would have been returned to the national treasury.

“This court has noted that the applicants also failed to comply with the conditions to satisfy for grant of conservatory orders” the judge noted in her ruling.

In January this year, a section of Embu County leaders drawn from Mbeere filed an application seeking the cancellation for procurement of all road works in Embu county.

They also sought to stop the construction of all tarmac roads under item No. 3110400 in the county budget for the financial year 2020-2021.The application by the leaders also sought interim stay orders of implementation of an alleged item 260500 which does not exist in the county budget.

Their application alleged that the identified roads had not been subjected to public participation and that the Mbeere community which they claimed is marginalized had not been considered.

In its response to the application, the Embu County Executive filed an application under certificate of urgency on 7th January 2021 seeking the interim orders to be discharged, set aside and vacated.

The county executive’s application prayed the petition to be dismissed with costs according to a sworn affidavit by the Embu County Secretary Johnson Nyaga on the grounds that the application by the Mbeere leaders was inaccurate and an abuse of the court process as the allegations by the petitioners was based on false dispositions and contained material misrepresentations to the court.

Further, the County Executive told the court that it had carried out public pubic participation in all the sub counties as required by law with respect to all projects including the ones subject to the case.

The County Executive also told the court that the applicants failed to disclose that the projects mentioned had been ongoing for more than two years and there had been no objections of any nature since 2018.

The Public Procurement Authority supported the Embu County executive on setting aside the application on the grounds that being an establishment under the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015 with the mandate to ensure all procurement processes established under the Act and complied with, the authority never received any complaints from the petitioners with reference to the procurement for investigations.

Further, they noted it was wrong, inappropriate for the petitioners to mis-represent allegations to an honourable court.

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