Malaria jab victims sue county over delayed compensation

Parents of the 28 children who suffered paralysis after receiving malaria jab in Akichelesit. They are demanding Sh40 million compensation. [Ignatius Odanga]

Victims of the July 2015 botched malaria jab have gone back to court seeking orders to compel the county government to release Sh40 million awarded to them as compensation.

In an application, the 28 children aver that unless the court intervenes, they are likely not to be compensated.

They submitted that despite numerous follow-ups with the county government since the judgement was delivered on December 19, 2017, the county had not honoured the court order. 

“The applicants’ prayer is that unless the court intervenes and compels the respondent to obey the said court orders by immediate settlement of the total judgment debt, the respondent will continue with disobedience of the said orders and thus corrode and erode the dignity of the court,” reads the application in part, which has been filed at a Busia court.

The Standard is in possession of a letter dated September 25, 2018 written and signed by Finance Executive Phaustine Barasa to the victims' lawyer, Bernard Ombui, confirming that the money had been factored in the 2018/19 Supplementary Budget.

However, up to now and with only a month before the current fiscal year ends, the children say in the suit that the county has not compensated them. Contacted, Barasa said, ”We are in communication with the lawyer over the same.”

Ombui wants Barasa held liable for contempt of court as she is yet to release the money despite confirming that the compensation of the 28 children had been factored in the Supplementary Budget.

The ruling that awarded the children the money was delivered by the then Busia Resident Magistrate Josephine Maragia. In her ruling, Ms Maragia said the children were victims of professional negligence as proper diagnosis was not given and the person who injected them was incompetent.

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botched malaria jabThe Standard