Total Kenya has been ordered to pay a contractor more than Sh600,000 for works carried out in one of its service stations, which the oil company declined to pay, arguing that it did not sanction the job.
The Court of Appeal noted that even though the additional works were issued orally, the oil company was aware of it and never raised any objections.
The Appellate court judges added that Collins Kipkorir issued the instructions for the additional works for excavations, pipe sleeves laying, stormwater drainage, manholes, and mild steel covers and forecourt bollards, and supervised the job on behalf of Total.
“We find that the lack of a local purchase order issued by the appellant did not in any way render the oral contract between the appellant and the respondent void,” Justices Mohammed Warsame, Jamila Mohammed, and Asike Makhandia said.
Pasacon General Construction and Electrical Services Limited moved to court in 2016 arguing that Total Kenya engaged the firm in July 2010 for its Jomo Kenyatta Service Station.
Total allegedly refused to settle the claim, arguing that there was no valid contract between the parties because a Local Purchase Order (LPO) must be issued.
Pasacon General contractors maintained that the additional works were issued orally by Total’s agent and, therefore, enforceable.
The case was dismissed by the trial magistrate, saying since there was no valid LPO, no payment should be made. The contractor appealed and High Court judge David Majanja overturned the decision, stating that an agreement for such works is not required in law to be in writing.