The High Court in Nairobi has ordered the Government to pay 16 Ugandan and Rwandese firms Sh6.3 billion for goods destroyed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
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The award is the largest individual post-election violence compensation.
Justice Mbogholi Msagha in a landmark ruling on Friday observed that the Government had reached out to the affected traders to settle the case out of court in 2010 but later turned around to deny liability.
The case had been filed by Kampala City Traders Association, KATRACO Uganda, Intraspeed Logistics and Mugenga Holdings claiming that their 22 trucks that were on transit to Nairobi were destroyed in chaos.
In addition, Dooba Enterprises, Willex Uganda, SEBCO Uganda, KPI Limited, Bunyonyi Safaris, Seven Hills Impex, Uganda Agricultural Tools, Board City, Bidco Uganda and businessman Tom Mgenga, who owns Mugenga Holdings also laid claim against the Kenyan Government for each truck that was destroyed.
In the judgment, 15 firms will share Sh4.7 billion while Mr. Mgenga who had filed a separate suit will get Sh1.62 billion as compensation.
The judge said that during the hearing, State lawyers admitted claims laid by the firms but still asked the court to dismiss suit.
According to the judge, Attorney General wrote to the then Permanent Secretary in the of the President notifying him that it was impossible to escape liability as two commissions had found that the police failed to protect businesses during the 2007 polls chaos.
“The plaintiffs in this suit feature prominently in that document which has not been denied by the defendants even during the hearing. There is evidence on record that an attempt was made to settle the claim out of court,” the judge ruled.
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In the suit where Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General were named as respondents, the court heard that most goods the traders were ferrying into the country were vandalized.
This mostly happened on the Nakuru-Eldoret-Malaba and Kisumu-Busia highways.
In 2016, the High Court in Mombasa awarded a Tanzania dealer Sh860 million after finding Kenya Ports Authority in fault for withholding 21 containers of juice and water due to the election violence.