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Trattoria to talk its way out of dispute

One of the county’s top restaurants has opted for talks to settle a long standing row over flower pots.

Trattoria bosses said the dispute with the local government was threatening the survival of the business.

It is hoping an agreement will be recorded by February 27  when both parties are due to appear before Mr Justice Hatari Waweru in the High Court.

The Trattoria was seeking a permanent order restraining the county from removing potted plants and property on the pavement at the front of the restaurant on Wabera Street in the CBD.

Temporary orders

The defunct City Council had raided the restaurant and carried off the pots, arguing the Trattoria was not licensed to carry out business on the pavement and that their use of it was an encroachment.

The court then gave temporary orders stopping the county from taking any action against Trattoria pending the hearing.

The county was seeking orders compelling Trattoria to remove all its structures, goods, assets, and canopy in the contested area.

Mr Gaetano Ruffo, managing director of the restaurant said he was one of the many businessmen invited by the then 2006 Minister for Local Government Musikari Kombo and Town Clerk John Gakuo to discuss the way forward for the business.

“At the meeting, it became apparent that the City Council was operating on outdated and primitive by-laws and that the unlawful act against us and other businesses carrying out similar trade was indeed uncalled for,” Mr Ruffo told the court.

He added that Mr Kombo, while addressing a ‘Safer Nairobi Convention’ at the UNEP headquarters on March, 2006, repeated the need for reforms to ensure that restaurants in Nairobi were allowed to operate on pavements, as in other cities all over the world.

“Following the minister’s admission and promise to review the outlawed by-laws, it was necessary to adopt a reconciliatory approach in the matter,” said Mr Ruffo.

However, the lawyer representing the county appeared not to know of the latest development.

He said the restaurant had delayed agreeing to their terms to settle the matter and therefore it should proceed.

The restaurant’s lawyer then presented a letter dated February 6 from Nairobi county government to the restaurant and its advocates showing that negotiations were active.

Mr Justice Waweru directed that the matter should be mentioned on February 27  for the parties to record a settlement if any.