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22 garbage collection firms in court row with City Hall

The High Court has ordered City Hall to allow 22 garbage collection firms to continue operating in three city estates.

City Hall had stopped the firms from working as per a new waste management system being implemented by the Nairobi county government.

Lady Justice Rose Aburili ordered the release of their trucks after the firms moved to court seeking to stop City Hall from interfering with their operations in the three Nairobi suburbs in which it is running trials for a new system to rid the city of refuse.

The 22 firms claim in their petition that City Hall has impounded seven garbage trucks which were operating in Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Kangemi estates which have been grouped in one zone by the County Government.

The firms say City Hall impounded the vehicles in violation of a court order.

A judge had issued orders in October against stopping their operations in the area until a petition filed by their union, Waste Management Association of Kenya (Wemak), is heard and determined.

IMPOUNDED TRUCKS

“It is hereby ordered that the trucks impounded by City Hall be released forthwith. There shall be no impounding of Wemak trucks until the applications pending herein are mentioned before Justice Alfred Mabeya on January 20,” the judge ruled.

Under City Hall’s plan, Nairobi will be divided into zones, each of which will have only one company collecting garbage.

The move has however come under fire from several firms which will be put out of business.

The vehicles were impounded in Zone Seven (Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Kangemi) after the County Government had single-sourced garbage collection to Sifa Limited in the first trial run.

TEMPORARY ORDERS

“On October 8 this court issued temporary orders to the effect that the status quo be maintained until January 20. The order meant we would be able to continue with our work of waste management. City Hall has since December 17 impounded seven vehicles belonging to Wemak members,” the firms say.

They have also asked the court to compel City Hall to release the impounded vehicles and allow them to operate in the estates until the suit is determined.

Wemak has protested the new system, arguing that it has over 50 members who are likely to be put out of business.

The firms have accused City Hall of impounding the vehicles as a retaliatory attack against Wemak for filing the suit against the new garbage collection system.

“The impounding of the said trucks is an implementation of a threat by officers of the respondent (City Hall) who had vowed to impound all our trucks by the end of the year so as to forcibly stop us from collecting waste in the area,” the firms say.