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September 26, 2018

Developer denies paying goons to camp at distillery

Protestors stage demonstrations at London Distillers Kenya Limited's distillery in Athi River, Machakos County on April 9, 2018./GEORGE OWITI
Protestors stage demonstrations at London Distillers Kenya Limited's distillery in Athi River, Machakos County on April 9, 2018./GEORGE OWITI

Erdemann Property Ltd CEO Zeyun Yang has trashed claims by London Distillers Kenya that it hired goons to disrupt operations and stone workers during protests at LDK.

Yang dismissed reports in a paid advertisement by London Distillers managing director Avin Galot the demonstration was a scheme financed and executed by Erdemann.

“The demonstration of more than 3,000 Athi River residents and stakeholders is just the powerful voice of people adversely affected by rampant environmental pollution expressing their anger over the threats posed on their lives,” Yang said.

“The conflict between LDK, the Athi River residents and stakeholders is something that has been brewing for a long time - decades and was bound to boil over and it is bound to explode if the critical issues raised are not addressed.”

Yang said it was demeaning for Galot to describe the demonstrators as “hired unruly protesters” and police. He said it was Galot’s “workers” who attacked protesters with stones near the LDK factory forcing the police to intervene with tear gas.

 

ARROGANT

“The media were there to do their work and the cameras cannot lie since they captured who started the trouble when all the protesters wanted was to deliver their environment pollution protest memorandum to Mr Galot,” Yang said.

He said the 3,000 demonstrators could not have been transported in seven buses as alleged by Galot. Yang also said his firm does not have money to hire many people and psyche them to protest against “what was obvious” to the police and the media covering the event. Yang told Galot to carry his own cross and face the reality “instead of resorting to diversionary tactics”. He said the LDK factory has polluted the environment for 30 years and “gotten away with it”, but now has to pay for its wrongs.

The LDK advert referred to articles published on April 10 in print media about the alleged pollution from our distillery, adding they were financed by Erdemann and Jev Communications Ltd - an events, advertising and public relations company.

Jev Communications managing director Joseph Barasa warned Galot against dragging his company’s name into corporate wars or risk being sued. “LDK seems to have completely lost its sense of direction and focus, because to my understanding, the most critical issue is the rampant pollution the company’s distillery has been splashing in that area for decades, forcing Nema to intervene, but they were still arrogant,” Barasa said.

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