Betting machines owner seeks court protection

Gambling machines and shisha pots go up in
Gambling machines and shisha pots go up in flames in Nairobi this month. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU  

A firm dealing in gaming business has moved to court seeking to bar the Interior ministry from destroying its 316 machines seized early this month.

The firm, DND Gaming Machines Limited, says the ministry officials among them Interior and Co-ordination of National government are abusing their offices. The firm’s director Muthoni Kamau claims that the seizing of the machines and arrest of one of its employees was done despite a court order restraining the same. The company claims that the employee was released without charge to clear the way for the destroying of the machines.

“There is a strong likelihood of the 316 gambling machines confiscated by the respondents herein being destroyed as occurred in other instances despite there being courts orders in force,” says Ms Muthoni in court documents.

The fresh application is a continuation of the legal battle that the firm alongside others are engaged in, as it seeks to avert what they claim losses running into millions.

The firm was among several petitioners which filed the case in court in 2016 over a licensing row that it says emanated from the lack of law under which arm of government that it falls. They got temporary restraining orders that have been extended several times since then.

Ms Muthoni says the administrative officers and provisional administrators raided her firm’s warehouse in Njiru sub-county, arrested an employee and carted away the machines.

She said the machines are being stored in Njiru awaiting further instructions from minister Fred Matiangi.

The minister is listed as one of the respondents.