US diplomats caught up in Sh120m dispute between City Hall and Kemri
Diplomats from the United States embassy were on Thursday morning caught up in a contract dispute between City Hall and the Kenya Medical research Institute (Kemri) head office.
City askaris had blocked the main entrance of Kemri head office using garbage trucks, blocking vehicles from entering or leaving the facility, including a delegation of 25 people from the US embassy and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
City Hall had contracted Kemri to be issuing health certificates to food venders in the city. Under the terms of the contract, Kemri was to in turn remit Sh12 million to City Hall every month.
City Hall claims the research institution had failed to fulfill its obligation for ten months.
Kemri officials insisted on being served with a court order for breach of contract.
The delegation from the US embassy and CDC was eventually allowed in after waiting at entrance for two hours. This was as a result of an intervention by the police.
But even as Kemri officials and county government officials were holed up in negotiations on the contract dispute, another group of askaris moved in and clamped the entire premise for non-payment of sh2.5 million in land rates arrears.