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County Government To Pay JTL 1Mn Over Damaged Fiber Cables

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Uasin Gishu county government has been ordered to pay KES 1Mn to Jamii Telecom (JTL) for destroying its internet cables in Eldoret.

The Kenyan telco went to court accusing the regional government led by Governor Jackson Mandago of damaging optic cables within Elgon View next to Testimony School. This was done when the county was excavating in the ground leading to the cables being cut to into pieces and pulled down from poles.

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The Faiba owner sued the county for KES 25Mn as compensation for the damages and rights infringement. However, the court turned down th claims on grounds that JTL had violated directions given by the county authorities.

The Uasin Gishu devolved unit had allowed Jamii Telecom to lay underground fiber cables but the company went ahead to erect poles and build overhead infrastructure. Instead of serving the firm a notice, the county arbitrarily pulled the cables without following due process, which led to the KES 1Mn fine.

Giving the court’s ruling, Justice Stephen Kibunja said, “Having considered the circumstances of this matter, the need to remind the respondent that it must lead by example in adhering to the Constitution and the statute in carrying out its functions within its area of jurisdiction, and noting that the Petitioner was not itself without some blame …the court considers an award of Sh1 million to be sufficient compensation for infringement of the Petitioner’s right.”

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