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Moi family faces Sh1.9bn pay suit despite rival’s death

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Moi family faces Sh1.9bn pay suit despite rival’s death


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A combo photo of former deputy director of Intelligence Stephen Mwangi Muriithi (left) and ex-President Daniel arap Moi. FILE PHOTOS | NMG

The estate of former President Daniel arap Moi will continue to face a Sh1.9 billion compensation suit despite the death of a retired spy chief who accused the former head of State of forcibly seizing his property in the 1980s.

The former deputy director of Intelligence Stephen Mwangi Muriithi died on Monday at 84, just weeks to the July 22 hearing of a suit at the Supreme Court in which he accused the late Moi — his former business partner — of unlawfully detaining him without trial so that he would take over jointly held property, including land, buildings and shares in three companies.

The High Court in 2011 awarded him Sh1.9 billion for loss suffered in sale of his properties and damages for illegal detention, but the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment in 2014, triggering an appeal at the Supreme Court.

On Monday, his lawyer Paul Mwangi said Mr Muriithi’s instructions before he died at Nairobi Hospital were that the case proceed to the end.

“His instructions on his death bed through his son was that I must fight his case to the end,” said Mr Mwangi.

Mr Muriithi sued Mr Moi and Raymark Ltd, seeking close to Sh2 billion for unlawful detention, occasioning his financial loss.

He claimed that the former President had him detained without trial in July 1982 in order to take over their joint properties, which they held together with then spymaster James Kanyotu and businessman Sadru Alibhai.

Among the companies in question are Fourways Investments Limited, where Mr Muriithi held 40 percent shareholding, Kanyotu held a similar percentage, while Sadru Alibhai held one percent and the late President 19 percent.

Also in contention is Sheraton Holdings Limited, where he allegedly held 40 percent, Kanyotu 40 and Moi 19 percent and Mokamu Limited, where all the three held 33 percent shareholding each.

These companies owned Kenwood House on Kimathi Street, Atlas Building on Moi Avenue and Ruprani House, but they were sold off while he was in detention.

He also claimed that Mokamu Ltd owned a 1,020-acre parcel of land in Solai, Nakuru County.

In 2011, High Court Judge Jeanne Gacheche ruled in his favour, saying Mr Muriithi’s detention without trial was not for the purpose of preserving public security, but for the late President to secure commercial advantage.

The retired President appealed and in 2014 the Court of Appeal saved him from paying Mr Muriithi more than Sh1.9 billion, saying Mr Moi was not personally responsible for the detention as it was an action of the State.

The Appellate court said Mr Muriithi sued the wrong person, Moi, instead of the minister who issued the order of his detention on behalf of the State.

The court also found he had failed to prove the losses he claimed to have suffered when in detention, nor did he table evidence showing the properties were sold, to whom the sales were done, the consideration and when the sales took place.

The former President died on February 4, 2020, the day the case was slated for hearing at the Supreme Court, forcing the matter to be adjourned.

Mr Muriithi later substituted the executor of Moi’s estate, Senior Counsel Zehrabanu Janmohamed, in the case.

The late Muriithi was among a select few who sued the former President after he left power in 2002.

Former Alego Usonga MP Otieno Mak’Onyango sued the government and Moi for atrocities he suffered when he was detained after the failed coup in 1982, but the court absolved Mr Moi of blame and instead slapped the government with a bill of Sh20 million for the torture the former editor and politician suffered.

Mr Moi’s neighbour in Kabarak, Malcom Bell, also took the former head of State to court, accusing him of illegally taking 100 acres of his land opposite Moi High School, Kabarak. Following a protracted legal battle, the parties entered an agreement to settle the dispute out of court.

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months


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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Airways will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.
  • The airline in a notice to its customers yesterday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.

The airline in a notice to its customers Monday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

The airline will then resume full operations on the route on September 20, flying three times per week on the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network.

Passengers on the route will part with Sh46,000 ($419) for one-way air ticket on economy class seats from Nairobi to Mumbai- prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Welcome back onboard! Fly from Nairobi to Mumbai starting Thursday 16th September with normal schedules resuming from Monday 20th September 2021,” said the airline in a notice to its customers yesterday.

KQ Suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai on April 30 until further notice, following a government directive on travel between India and Kenya due to a Covid-19 crisis in that country.

The airline said on Friday that passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of the last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, will have to change their plans.

Affected passengers, KQ said, could also take vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. Last month, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include France, the UK Bangladesh, Oman and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has so far detected 33,264,175 corona virus cases with the number of deaths hitting 442,874 as at September 13.

A large number of patients from Kenya also travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts affordable and easily accessible healthcare.

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs


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Man pulls a cart loaded with second-hand clothes at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.
  • Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

The average price of a tonne of second-hand clothing items imported into the country crossed the Sh100,000 mark for the first time last year on reduced volumes in the wake of safety protocols and guidelines to curb spread of coronavirus.

Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.

Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

Last year’s drop was the first dip since 2011 when 76,533 tonnes were shipped in compared with 80,423 tonnes the previous year, the official data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

The import bill for the merchandise amounted to Sh12.24 billion, a drop of 31.11 percent, or Sh5.53 billion, year-on-year.

TIn imposing the temporary ban on used clothes, Kebs had applied a standard which prohibits buying second-hand clothes from countries experiencing epidemics to ensure disease-causing microorganisms are not imported into Kenya.

Higher quality and relatively lower prices for mitumba has continued to drive demand for used clothes at expense of locally-made products amid higher margins enjoyed by traders largely operating in informal markets.

The lucrative second-hand clothing market has seen traders from China —a key source market for the merchandise —open shops in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest informal market for mitumba, in recent years to cash in rising demand.

Earnings from exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories fell 5.32 percent to Sh32.92 billion last year compared with 2019, data indicates.

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud


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Cotu boss Francis Atwoli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.
  • Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.

Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

Mr Atwoli is the secretary-general of KPAWU. The rival union claimed KPAWU had encroached on its area of workers’ representation.

Justice James Rika, however, dismissed the claim and ruled that the dispute should have been taken through conciliation, and was therefore presented in court prematurely.

He also stated that Kefhau must go beyond its registration and recruit sufficient members from the employers, to be granted recognition and organisational rights.

“Registration on its own, does not afford the claimant (Kefhau) recognition. Until there is proof that Kefhau has satisfied Section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, the status quo must be maintained,” said the judge.

“Kefhau must recruit at least 50 percent plus one, of the unionisable employees in the floriculture and horticulture industry, members of the Agricultural Employers Association to be considered for recognition,” he stated.

He noted that there is a Recognition Agreement and CBA, binding Mr Atwoli’s union and Agricultural Employers Association, affecting 73 Flower Growers Group of employers, and over 60,000 employees.

“It is objectionable for Kefhau to be allowed organisational rights, and the legitimacy to receive trade union dues and agency fees, from over 60,000 employees, just on the strength of registration as a trade union,” said the judge.

Kefhau wanted the court to declare that it is the sole trade union, which is allowed by its constitution to carry out activities in the export floriculture and vegetable industry, and an order restraining Mr Atwoli’s from representing workers in that area.

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