Ugandan Businessman Faces Arrest for Mombasa Toxic Waste Leak

A Kenyan court has issued an arrest warrant for a Ugandan businessman implicated in a toxic leak in Mombasa.
The BBC reports that Mombasa magistrate ordered the arrest after Uwitije Venna, a director of the Southern Enterprise Transport Company, failed to appear in court.
Hundreds of people say they have become ill after a consignment of nitric acid was dumped in their neighbourhood.
Ugandan-based Kasese Cobalt Company Limited, which imported the chemical, has denied responsibility. It says that it has been importing nitric acid without incident for the past 10 years.
Nitric acid is used in the mining of cobalt.
Last week, Bob Jennings, general manager of Kasese Cobalt, said the leak had started while the containers were still in the Kenyan port and that his company is not responsible for the safety of containers in transit. He said Southern Enterprises, the shipping company, had informed Kenya's environment authorities about the leak at least one month ago.
But the authorities say the problem was reported less than two weeks ago - when the containers had already been dumped in the residential area.
Mombasa Municipal Council has filed charges against the transport firm for failing to observe its environment management regulations by dumping the chemicals at Kipevu.
Witnesses said the containers were abandoned in a slum near the port about a month ago by a truck driver who had noticed liquid seeping out. Two women living in Kalahari slum claimed they had miscarriages while other slum residents complained of breathing difficulties, stomach upsets and chest pains.
Today the Mombasa court rejected an appeal from Venna's lawyers who wanted more time to trace his whereabouts.

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