The Admiralty Court in Mombasa has awarded a Somali shipping company more than Sh10 million for damages incurred on its vessel MV Nasibu that was detained and has been grounded in Kenyan waters since 2017.
Yesterday, Justice Njoki Mwangi directed that the vessel's owner, Mumin Ali Mumin, be awarded Sh10,290,000 by a businessman who had hired the vessel to transport goods into Mombasa from Somalia.
She also ordered the release of the vessel that has been detained in Kilifi.
Mumin said his vessel had been unlawfully detained, leading to loss of millions of shillings in income and damage of its engine.
He blamed businessman Jamal Mohammed Bandira for the circumstances after the latter apparently damaged the vessel while ferrying his cargo to Mombasa from Kismayu.
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Bandira told the courts the vessel had developed mechanical problems en route to Mombasa and its crew was arrested for being in the country illegally.
He had filed a claim seeking compensation of Sh720,000, money he claims was used to bail out the crew, secure the release of the vessel, supply fuel, spare parts, food and petty cash on various dates between August 23, 2016 and March 22, 2017.
Bandira had also sought interest of 12 per cent annually until the said amount was paid in full.
Mumin had filed a counter-claim seeking damages and loss of income over unlawful detention of the ship despite a court order allowing its release.
Njoki dismissed Bandira’s claim after he failed to prove that he paid for mooring, fueling and maintenance of the ship. There was also no proof that he paid cash bail for the crew members of the vessel. “I dismiss the claim by the claimant Bandira and allow the counter-claim by the defendant (Nasibu) a gross award of Sh10,290,000,” ruled Justice Mwangi.