MP and State to pay firm Sh14m for destroying its brew

The award shall attract interest at the court's rate from the date of filing. The company filed suit filed on August 26, 2015. [iStockphoto]

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria and the Attorney General have been ordered to pay a firm Sh13.84 million as compensation for loss incurred during an alleged illicit brew crackdown.

Nakuru High Court Judge Hilary Chemitei in a judgment delivered last week said Gikaria and the Attorney General should jointly pay Sh13.84 million prayed for by owners of Meera Umoja Kenya Ltd.

The court said the award shall attract interest at the court's rate from the date of filing. The company filed suit filed on August 26, 2015 

Rakesh Gudka who testified on behalf of the company said that on July 6, 2015, around noon, Gikaria in the presence of many vigilante youths invaded his business premises at Sangura Avenue, within the Industrial Area in Nakuru town.

He said apart from him, there were police officers who escorted them claiming that they were enforcing presidential directives on destroying illegal alcohol. He said the crowd led by Gikaria broke the padlock and stormed into the premises and carted away all the alcohol therein and some of them were placed in his vehicle.

Gudka stated that the alcohol products which were on his premise were lawfully purchased and imported and that he was licensed to do so adding that all had Kenya Bureau of Standards certification and were not second-generation in nature.

Destroyed properties

He exhibited the licenses and the relevant import declaration documents as well as Kenya Revenue Authority documents which were produced without any objection. He stated that the value of the destroyed properties was over Sh13 million and he prayed that he be compensated.

Gikaria as per the judgment filed his defence denying the claim.

The AG, the court noted, filed a preliminary objection instead of a defence. The preliminary objection the court said was never canvassed.

When the matter proceeded for hearing, Gikaria, the court noted, failed to turn up although the date was taken by consent.

Justice Chemitei in determining the matter said there was no doubt that the said goods were carted away and or destroyed as per Gudka's testimony.

He said there was no defence to the fact that the goons were led by the MP, ostensibly to undertake a presidential directive on alcoholic drinks that had wreaked havoc in the area.

The judge said he agreed with Gudka's suit and found that the actions by the MP and the youth were unlawful and malicious.

"The said alcohol was never recovered. Nobody knows whether they were destroyed or not. It is the defendants who ought to have explained," stated the judge.