A court has ruled against the Nairobi Water & Sewerage Company Ltd in a dispute over a water meter bill with a local company. In a ruling dated August 18, 2023, High Court Judge A.N. Ongeri ruled that Balaji (EPZ) does not owe Nairobi Water Ksh. 76,650,122.56 in unpaid water bills as claimed by Nairobi Water & Sewerage Company.
The suit arose out of a water bill in which Balaji (EPZ) alleged that Nairobi Water arbitrarily levied against it with respect to account no. 1896740 and meter no. 1202613.
Balaji (EPZ) averred in the plaint that it has been using the said meter account numbers to promptly pay for its water bills at the end of every month for the last seven years after receiving its monthly water bills from Nairobi Water.
However, they received a letter from Nairobi Water requesting that the management appear before them to discuss an outstanding huge water bill purportedly accruing to the company’s account no. 1896740 and meter no. 1202613. Balaji (EPZ) further averred that Nairobi Water proceeded to disconnect the water supply for a period of two (2) days, occasioning immense losses to the tune of Ksh.99, 165,182.50.
Due to the nature of their business, water disconnection for a day was detrimental to the operations of the business, resulting in the immense losses experienced for the two days. Balaji maintained that it had no such astronomical bill owed to Nairobi Water and that the bill claimed was outrageous and baseless, and its business would be gravely affected should Nairobi Water disconnect it from the water supply due to the wrongful purported bill being claimed.
It is further claimed that despite having reached out to Nairobi Water concerning this matter, the latter has refused to demonstrate how the outrageous bill was arrived at and unilaterally used a term called a multiplier, which was not part of the contract signed between them.
The judge noted, “I find that the bill of 76,650,122.56 is arbitrary. It is not clear how the plaintiff arrived at that figure, and I find that the same is not payable”. The final order reads “A declaration be and is hereby issued that the plaintiff is not liable to pay the amount of Ksh. 76,650,122.56 levied by the defendant”.