22 November 2012

Kenya: Court Allows West Kenya to Harvest Cane

THE high Court in Kakamega has allowed West Kenya Sugar Company to harvest and transport sugarcane from the disputed Busia zone.

Justice Said Chitembwe suspended the orders he issued on November 7 barring West Kenya from harvesting can from harvesting sugarcane from the zone for 60 days on Monday after the company challenged the directive.

"The West Kenya, its agents, servants or employees is hereby restrained from purchasing and transporting sugarcane from Busia sugarcane zone for a period of 60 days," said judge Said Chitembwe while delivering his ruling in a case filed by the Mumias Sugar Company against West Kenya.

The orders earlier issued by the court were to take effect from November 15 and expire on January 16, 2013. The period between November 7 and November 15 was meant to allow West Kenya ferry already harvested cane.

But West Kenya moved to court this Monday to challenge the order on grounds that the company was incurring loses following execution of the orders.

West Kenya through lawyer Raymond Olendo told the court that harvested cane was rotting in the fields following the execution of the order.

He argued that the company had hired trucks and drivers to facilitate ferrying the already harvested cane in the area and that the 60-day window would not allows the company to fire the drivers without attracting legal action.

Chitembwe varied the order and allowed West Kenya to continue harvesting and transporting sugarcane from independent farmers in the zone until December 6 when an application it filed would be heard and determined.

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