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JKIA duty free firm faces eviction as notice expires

A duty free shop
A duty free shop at the JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Maya Duty Free, a company operating from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s (JKIA), is back in court seeking to stop eviction by its landlord.

The company’s employees in a suit filed at the High Court argue that the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) breached competition laws in giving Switzerland’s Dufry International exclusive operation at JKIA’s Terminal 1A.

The 13 employees, who say they are on the verge of losing their jobs if their employer is kicked out of JKIA on lapse of the eviction notice Tuesday (November 20), claim that they had filed a petition at the Competition Tribunal but were turned away because the tribunal lacked quorum.

“That there be and is hereby issued a conservatory order restraining any implementation of clause V paragraph 4(b) of the concession agreement for development and management of duty free retail services under a single master licence…between Kenya Airports Authority and Dufry International AG, by eviction of, or any other way interfering with the duty free business of the interested party, Maya Duty free Limited at Terminal 1A of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, pending inter partes hearing of this application,” say the employees in their petition.

The High Court in September dismissed a suit filed by Maya challenging the decision to kick it out of JKIA, noting that the firm failed to prove its constitutional rights were being infringed on when it was issued with an eviction order.

At the centre of the dispute is a contract agreement dated January 22, 2015 which gave the Dufry International monopoly to operate duty free business at Terminal 1A of JKIA for a period of 10 years, renewable.

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