Firms want Sh12b for losses in 2007 post-election chaos


High Court Judge Msagha Mbogoli. [PHOTO BY EDWARD KIPLIMO]

Taxpayers could be forced to pay Sh12 billion to foreign companies as compensation for losses they incurred during the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

Sixteen transport companies from Uganda and Rwanda have filed an urgent suit at the High Court to compel the government to pay them the amount they were awarded after their trucks and goods were torched.

Through lawyer Judith Guserwa, the companies claim that the government has refused to pay them despite a judgement in their favour in June 2018.

"We are seeking the court’s intervention for the government and the Inspector General of Police to comply with the court order and pay the amount as calculated by the court. Nothing stops them from paying since it is only fair that the companies enjoy the fruits of their litigation,” said Ms Guserwa.

The lawyer said that the government has not given any reasons for failing to pay the amount, which continues to attract interest. "The government’s persistent failure and refusal to honour the court decree since 2018 is an abuse of the court process and intended to embarrass the foreign companies, which saw their massive investment in the transport sector destroyed during the chaos."

Torched vehicles

Justice Msagha Mbogholi had ruled that the companies, which haul goods from Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, deserved to be compensated after suffering huge losses at the hands of demonstrators who torched their vehicles.

He awarded them Sh6.3 billion as compensation for loss of business and special damages, and another Sh6 billion as interest on the principal amount.

The companies included Intraspeed Logistics Ltd, Kampala City Traders Association, Willex Uganda Ltd, KPI Ltd, Katraco Uganda Ltd, Dooba Enterprises, Sebco Uganda, Bunyonyi Safaris, Seven Hills Impex, Uganda Agricultural Tools, Mugenga Holdings, Board City Company and Bidco Uganda Ltd.

Businessmen Tom Mgenga, David Musana and Suleiman Bateganya were also to benefit.

Justice Mbogholi had said it was the failure and neglect by the Kenyan Police Service that led to the losses at the hands of demonstrators protesting against the declaration of former President Mwai Kibaki as winner of the 2007 presidential election.