The High Court has ordered the Kenyan government to pay 16 Ugandan and Rwanda companies Sh6.3 billion as compensation for the goods they lost during the 2007-2008 post-election chaos.
Justice Msagha Mbogholi made the landmark ruling on Friday, which is the single largest award ever made in the post-election chaos cases.
The multi-billion award will also benefit drivers who were ferrying the goods from Mombasa to DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
The case was filed by Kampala City Traders Association, Katraco Uganda, Intraspeed Logistics and Mugenga Holdings.
22 TRUCKS DESTROYED
The companies claimed that their 22 trucks were destroyed in the political turmoil which was sparked by the disputed results of the poll that pitted Raila Odinga of ODM and Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity.
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 for each truck that was destroyed.
They sued the Kenyan government and specifically listed the police commissioner (now inspector-general) and the attorney-general as the respondents.
The firms and truck drivers had sought a total of USD47,557,081, which was equivalent to Sh3,804,566,480 at the time they filed their suit in March 2010.
The Sh6.3 billion award was arrived at after the initial claim was adjusted for inflation and interest.
In his decision, Judge Mbogholi said the firms and drivers had proved to the court that they lost trucks and commodities through arson and theft.
And for their loss, the government of Kenya was blamed for failing to provide adequate security.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that they lost some business as a result. It is now almost 10 years from the time the cause of action arose,” said the judge.
“It is hard to say how long those vehicles would have remained on the road doing the same business for the benefit of the plaintiffs.”
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.