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Economy

Kenya to pay Ugandan, Rwanda firms for poll chaos losses

Attorney General Githu Muigai said an inter-ministerial committee investigated the claims and returned a verdict that only Sh538 million is genuine and should be settled. PHOTO | FILE
Attorney General Githu Muigai said an inter-ministerial committee investigated the claims and returned a verdict that only Sh538 million is genuine and should be settled. PHOTO | FILE 

Kenya will not pay the Sh4.7 billion Ugandan and Rwandan firms are demanding for losses they suffered in the 2007-2008 post-election violence and has instead committed to pay them Sh538 million.

Attorney General Githu Muigai and the Treasury director-general for budget and economic affairs Geoffrey Mwau said a Cabinet memorandum has been prepared to guide the compensation.

The 13 Ugandan and Rwandan firms sued the government in 2009 for negligence, demanding Sh4.7 billion compensation for special damages.

Prof Muigai said an inter-ministerial committee investigated the claims and returned a verdict that only Sh538 million is genuine and should be settled.

“It is several years since 2008, we have claims of several billions and the position of the inter-ministerial committee says the bulk of the claims are baseless. Only Sh538m is legal claims,” he told the National Assembly’s Administration and National Security committee.

The committee is inquiring into a petition presented to Parliament by the foreign traders following delays by Interior ministry to settle the claims as directed by the Kenyan courts.

The traders from the two landlocked states, which rely on Mombasa port for imports and exports, initially estimated their losses in the 2007/08 skirmishes at Sh20 billion. About 1,200 people were killed in ethnic fuelled violence.

Only 13 traders, 12 from Uganda and one from Rwanda, managed to present evidence of losses incurred on the Kenyan soil, leading to the Sh4.75 billion compensation bill.

The 13 firms and three businessmen claim that the government, through the police, failed to accord their trucks adequate security during the bloody post-election violence, 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.

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