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Watchdog team on the spot over bribery claims

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Watchdog team on the spot over bribery claims

An industrialist has accused a private developer of bribing members of a parliamentary committee with residential houses.

Alcoholic beverages manufacturer London Distillers Kenya (LDK) Limited in a damaging letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, wants him to order an inquiry to ascertain information that some members of the Implementation Committee were given houses at Great Wall Gardens on Mombasa road, Nairobi, by property developer Erdermann Property Ltd.

“The said members of the committee received houses either freely or over subsidised rate through proxies being family members, relatives or companies in which they have interests,” reads the letter signed by LDK chairman Mohan Galot.

Alleged pollution

 And yesterday, the controversy pitting LDK and Erdermann took a new twist after the industrialist pulled out of meeting to settle the issue, called by a parliamentary committee.

The management of LDK failed to show up for the meeting called by the committee, regarding the implementation of the report of the Environment Committee on its inquiry into alleged pollution by the company.

“On account of the public display of partiality against LDK by the members of the parliamentary committee, we will not be attending any sitting now and in future,” Galot wrote.

London Distillers has been embroiled in a dispute with residents of Great Wall Gardens, owned by Erdermann Property Ltd, over claims of emptying toxic waste into Athi River.

Residents accused the firm of failing to put in place appropriate technology for waste management.

But committee chairman Moitalel ole Kenta said his team will not be coerced or intimidated by any authority saying as an independent body, it will not take instructions from any one.

“LDK can write to whoever they want to but we as a committee will do our work freely without malice,” Kenta said.

In the letter, Galot says that Erdemann owner Zeyun Yang is facing charges of bribing top officials of the Lake basin Development Authority of Kisumu with houses.

But during yesterday’s meeting, Kenta informed members that the management had through a letter to Muturi said that it was pulling out of any future engagement over the matter.

Nema through its Director General Mamo Boru Mamo said it had hired the services of a consultant – Anthony Karanja to carry out independent findings after the committee rejected an earlier report compiled by a firm sourced in-house.

The committee had said the report, tabled by Mamo, had been authored by a firm that is licensed by Nema contrary to a directive that an independent firm, without links to the authority be hired to carry out investigations into allegations of pollution by LDK.

Lost confidence

Yesterday Mamo said the authority does not work under the whims of Erdermann saying that its mandate was solely to regulate.

“We have done what the committee directed us to do last month. If LDK decides not to attend a meeting, we have no control,” Mamo said.

Erdermann through one of its  directors; a Mr Chen   disowned the report saying it had been manipulated to favour LDK.

However Isiolo North MP Hassan Hulufo, dismissed the allegations by Erdermann saying that they must prove that Nema manipulated the writing of the report.

“Even if they have lost confidence in Nema, there is little they can do but to agree to work with the authority since it is the regulator,” Hulufo said.

Chen maintained that Erdermann opposed the report done by the Neman sourced consultant in its entirety saying the findings do not meet the internationally set standards.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati hit at the LDK for allegedly running away from the issues raised by the committee that they prove that it has installed state of the art equipment.

Mumias West MP Johnson Naicca said LDK  has been defying Nema and asked the committee to use its powers and summon the management.

During a meeting last month, the MPs and the management of Nema clashed over a report clearing LDK over pollution claims.

During the stormy meeting, Mamo was stopped from reading the report, detailing the findings of the authority as directed by the Committee.

The committee accused the authority of having been compromised by the distiller to give a clean bill of health.

In his report, Mamo stated that the assessment done by the authority shows that the emissions from the distiller comply with the Environment Management and Coordination, air quality regulations and ambient air quality tolerance limits.

In summary

    • London Distillers said they had installed a new ultra-modern plant  at a cost of Sh250 million.
    • The plant says it has reduced pollution by ammonia previously occasioned by cooling of hot spent material which is now being pumped directly.
    • Other replaced items include the boiler chimney at Sh 2.5 million and aerobic ponds at a cost of Sh 2.4 million.

Original Source Website: : https://www.pd.co.ke/news/watchdog-team-on-the-spot-over-bribery-claims-71254/

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