• The county has now slapped its unpaid land rates claim on 179,374 acres and not the 224, 992 acres of land occupied by the company under a lease that expires in 2053.
• Tata insists when they engaged the Kenyan government on the lease, the agreement was Sh2,000 per acre and not the Sh10,000 increased by Lenku's administration.
The Kajiado government has dropped a claim of land rates on 45,616 acres, in its tax row with soda ash miner Tata Chemicals Magadi.
The county has now slapped its unpaid land rates claim on 179,374 acres and not the 224, 992 acres of land occupied by the company under a lease that expires in 2053.
A document by the director general of revenue, Vera Moraa, now shows the county government's claim stands at Sh11.4 billion since 2016, which the county now demands before they engage with the investor on any other matter.
In March 2022, Tata Chemicals Magadi sought a renewal of a lease on one of its lands where they are seeking an expansion of its infrastructure.
Earlier, the railway land, stretching from Magadi to Kajido towns and the lake area was dropped following a court decision that the railway reserve and the lake area are not rateable by the county government because they belong to the national government.
The county government and Tata Chemicals have been embroiled in the land rates since Governor Joseph Lenku came to power in 2017.
"Everyone, including individual owners of land pays land rates. What is special about Tata Chemicals? Let them pay up or ship out of Kajiado," Lenku said on Sunday in a telephone conversation with the Star.
Lenku has adamantly accused the investor of hiding behind tokenism to the local community, in the form of corporate social responsibility.
Last Thursday, Tata Chemicals said they had fulfilled their responsibility to the local community.
In a press release signed by the chief executive officer, Subodh Srivastav, the company enumerated its service to the community.
Srivastav said some of their services to the community include water trucking, relief food support and offering medical care at the company's health centre.
Magadi MCA Isaac Kiresian said the company must now halt its battle with the devolved unit by paying up its land rates "like every other investor."
The land rates row has often taken a political angle and in the 2022 election, Lenku and Kiresian, who are critics of the company’s activities won the votes in Magadi ward.
Tata Chemicals however say when they engaged the Kenyan government on the lease, the agreement was Sh2,000 per acre and not the Sh10,000 increased by Lenku's administration.