The Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld a high court ruling allowing Belgium firm Kenwind Ltd to invest a Sh21 billion wind energy project in Lamu County.
The judges (Alnasir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja and Daniel Musinga) dismissed an appeal by US-based company Cordison International, arguing that it lacked merit.
“We have said enough. We believe that this appeal is devoid of merit, even without addressing ourselves to each and every ground of appeal. Consequently, we hereby dismiss it in its entirety,” they said.
They added that they did not agree with the appellant that Malindi Land and Environment Judge James Olola failed to consider if National Land Commission and its chairman were in breach of the rule of law.
The judges said the NLC dealt with all the appellant’s concerns raised in a letter dated June 17, 2016.
“The NLC concluded its letter by proposing that a development plan for 3,200 acres in favour of the appellant and 8,000 acres for Kenwind be prepared. If the appellant was not satisfied with that proposal, it ought to have appealed to the liaison committee in terms of Section 13 of the Physical Planning Act.”
Cordison claimed that Kenwind was allocated land illegally. It had sought to invest Sh23 billion in its phase one of the power project in Kiongwe, Lamu County, but said kickoff was delayed for 27 months by NLC’s failure to approve their land lease request.
But the NLC maintained that Cordison did not meet the legal requirements to be awarded the lease for 11,000 acres of land despite efforts to invest in the plot since 2009.
As a result, on May 2017 Cordison filed an application against the agency and Lamu County government accusing them of favouring Kenwind Ltd in the allocation of land in Baharini Ward, Mpeketoni, to invest in wind energy.
But Justice Oyola dismissed the application, indicating there was no evidence showing that the county and NLC acted illegally.
Cordison sought for green light from the Ministry of Energy in November 25, 2009 before obtaining approval from the Commissioner of Lands, District Development Committee and National Environment Management Authority, among others.