The ugly fight between London Distillers of Kenya (LDK) and Erdemann Property Ltd reared its’ head in the National Assembly as MPs took either side to either defend and or poke holes into the report.
The report by the House Environment Committee had recommended shutdown of the alcoholic spirits plant. The same report was then overseen by the House Committee on implementation.
The two Committees, surprisingly, agreed that LDK had fully complied with the recommendations and that there is no ‘smell’ anymore after the LDK claimed to have spent Sh141mn to install a waste processing plant.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany, in opposing the report that has been watered down to only policy issues affecting National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), said LDK had claimed that the Environment Committees members had sought bribes. He wondered how the same Committee has now ‘cleansed’ a company which is ‘still polluting the environment’.
Former Chief Whip and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali also blamed government and parliament for not protecting the interests of Kenyans.
In April this year, LDK sensationally claimed that several MPs on the Environment Committee has been bribed with free houses by Erdemann Property Ltd to condemn his alcoholic beverage plant.
LDK wrote to the House Speaker Justin Muturi seeking an inquiry into the bribery claims levelled against members of the Committee on Implementation of House resolutions.
The accusations stem from the parliamentary probe of LDK for polluting the environment through toxic emissions and dumping of raw waste into Athi River following complaints by Erdemann Property Limited which owns the Great Wall Gardens apartments.
On its’ part, Erdemann and about 3,000 home buyers petitioned Parliament in 2018 to investigate the impact of LDK’s activities on the environment, with LDK surprisingly receiving backing from the NEMA.
“We would therefore request that you order for an inquiry to be conducted in order to ascertain whether the confidential information we have received that several members of the committee have acquired houses either freely or over subsidized rate through proxies, being family members, relatives or companies in which they have interests, [which] could have led to clear conflict of interest displayed,” Mohan Galot (pictured), the chairman of LDK, said in a letter to Mr Muturi.
Mr Galot asked the Speaker to reconstitute a new committee to handle the probe to uphold the integrity of Parliament.
In July, this year, the billionaire businessman Mohan Galot was charged with tax evasion amounting to over Sh2.5 billion.
Galot and LDK faced a total of 18 charges of failing to pay taxes in what the prosecution termed as economic crimes aimed at sabotaging the country’s economy by weakening its tax revenue.