Why Company Associated with Embakasi Blast is Suing EPRA

February 22, 2024

Derdols Tech Services Limited and Derdols Petroleum Limited, the companies claiming ownership of the premises involved in the Embakasi gas explosion, have taken legal action against the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) for suspending their license.

The explosion resulted in the deaths of at least seven people and injured more than 200 people.

EPRA had authorized the companies, operating under the name Maxxis Nanyuki Energy, to engage in activities including the filling of liquefied petroleum gas and the transportation of LPG and petroleum products.

Derdors has filed its case before High Court Judge John Chigiti, arguing that EPRA suspended its license without offering them an opportunity to address the accusations leveled against them.

Derrick Kimathi, in his supporting affidavit, identified himself as the Managing Director of both implicated companies. He recounted receiving a show-cause notice from EPRA on February 8, 2024, shortly after the explosion occurred.

EPRA, in its communication, alleged that the company was illegally filling cylinders that belonged to other companies.

Kimathi admitted that the mishap occurred because the company had recently hired new employees who were unfamiliar with the proper procedures.

Despite his response, EPRA proceeded to suspend Maxxis’s license, citing the explosion as the reason. Kimathi protested that he was not afforded a hearing before the regulatory body enacted the suspension.

“That is unlawful, callous, malicious and fraudulent for the respondent to make such a unilateral decision without notifying the ex-parte applicants. The respondents’ actions are punitive and have adverse effects on the ex-parte applicants’ business,” Kimathi submitted.

“There has never been any intentions from the ex-parte applicants to avoid and or evade and or in any way fail to honor their obligations and in particular those under the petroleum Act 2019,” he added.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have proposed seven counts of murder against Kimathi. Other individuals presented before Nairobi Magistrate Dolphins Alego include National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) staff David Walunya Ongare, Joseph Makau, and Marrian Muteta Kioko.

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