Sixteen Ugandan and Rwandese firms and businessmen have been allowed to revive a Ksh4.2 billion ($47.5 million) compensation claim against the Kenyan government for goods and vehicles destroyed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
Justice Msagha Mbogoli on Wednesday directed the 16 firms to request for a hearing date at the High Court registry.
The firms have sued the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney- General, accusing them of negligence that led to the destruction of their trucks ferrying goods to Uganda and Rwanda by protesters.
“The plaintiffs are to take fresh dates at the registry for the hearing and determination of the suit,” said the judge.
The 16 firms claim that the government, through the police, failed to accord their trucks adequate security, which led to the loss of their property in the chaos. They have also faulted the government for opening the highway for use in clash-prone areas.
Most of the trucks were destroyed on the Nakuru-Eldoret-Malaba and Nakuru-Busia highways, the firms alleged.
They claim they lost $22.9 million (Ksh2.03 billion) along with the trucks and goods that were being transported across the country.
They have asked the court to award them $47.5 million in special damages alongside general damages, which will be assessed by the court in the event that their suit succeeds, at an interest of 24 per cent from December 2009.
“The police failed to provide security arrangements to protect the plaintiffs’ lives and property.’’
Intraspeed Logistics, Kampala City Traders Association, KATRACO Uganda and Mugenga Holdings were the owners of the 22 heavy duty trucks destroyed in the chaos. They have been joined by Dooba Enterprises, Willex Uganda, SEBCO Uganda, KPI Limited, Bunyonyi Safaris, Seven Hills Impex, Uganda Agricultural Tools, Board City, Bidco Uganda and businessmen Suleiman Bateganya, David Musana and Arthur Turyahikayo.
Intraspeed claims in suit papers that the firms had sent demand letters to Attorney- General and Inspector- General of Police, but have not been compensated for their losses. They said none of the respondents had filed a response, nearly six years after the suit was filed.
Intraspeed’s managing director John Rusagara said some of the property being transported was looted by attackers due to the police’s failure to provide adequate security along the two highways.
The attacks occurred on various dates between December 2007 and February 2008 while the vehicles were in transit to Uganda and Rwanda.
The firms claim that they gave information to the police, which was supplemented by the same from members of the public and intelligence reports regarding security on the highways but the information did not elicit any response.