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Joho-linked company sues KPA over halted warehouse construction

A lawsuit has been filed by a company associated with the family of the former Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho against the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) over its decision to halt the construction of warehouses on leased sheds at the Port of Mombasa.

Portside Freight Terminals Ltd is seeking an injunction to restrain KPA from stopping or suspending the construction of the warehouses and other developments, and to prevent KPA from interfering or denying its contractors and workers access to the site.

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Pending the arbitration process initiated over the dispute, the company is requesting that the orders be issued.

The lawsuit claims that on June 30, 2022, Portside entered into a lease agreement with KPA for two sheds for 20 years and began building a warehouse and other developments on the property with KPA’s knowledge and approval.

However, on March 3, 2023, the company received a letter from KPA suspending construction over claims that the lease was under review.

Portside wrote to KPA seeking to resolve the dispute through negotiations, but received no response.

On April 3, KPA sent another letter suspending the construction works for an additional 30 days.

Portside contends that the latest letter interferes with the arbitral process, which has already begun, and argues that the fairness of the process requires both parties to pursue it to its final conclusion. The case is scheduled to be mentioned on June 7.

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