Shipping & Logistics

South African firm in court seeking Sh16m KICC debt

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Johannesburg-based Congress Rental South Africa wants the High Court to compel the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) to pay it $158,000 (Sh15.8 million) for freight charges for equipment it installed in the Nairobi facility for the 2015 WTO conference.

Congress Rental says arbitrator Calvin Nyachoti in September ordered KICC to pay for the freight charges but that it is yet to receive any money for the freight charges. KICC is yet to respond to the suit.

The South African firm says it has sent demand letters to KICC seeking payment in line with Mr Nyachoti’s orders, to no avail.

“In the final award dated September 17, 2017, the arbitrator awarded Congress Rental South Africa against KICC the sum of $158,000 (Sh15.8 million) being the cost of unpaid freight and forwarding charges, simple interest earned on the sum at the rate of 14 per cent per annum computed with effect from the date of default on December 18, 2015 until payment in full,” Congress Rental says.

“Despite demand having been made, KICC has refused, neglected and/or otherwise failed to comply with any of the orders made by the arbitrator. To date, no order has been made by this honourable court setting aside or staying the enforcement of the said final award.”

KICC had told Mr Nyachoti that some of the equipment ordered had not been delivered, and that it had renegotiated the contract price with Congress Rental down to $1 million (Sh100 million).

KICC also claimed that Congress Rental had exaggerated the freight costs.

The South African firm holds that KICC had also refused to settle its share of Mr Nyachoti’s arbitrator fees, forcing it to foot the entire bill in order to obtain a copy of his final decision and award.

Congress Rental wants the High Court to order KICC to deposit the Sh15.8 million in a joint interest earning account registered to lawyers representing the South African firm and the KICC.