Kakuzi PLC sues KHRC

by Lawyer Wanz
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Kakuzi Plc has taken Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) to court over an article that alleges it has over the years condoned violence, killings, rape and labour injustices.

In the petition filed at the High Court in Milimani, the Kakuzi PLC says the article published on February 14 after settlement of a case in the United Kingdom where 85 Kenyans were awarded Sh696 million by its parent firm Camelia Plc, could severely affect its business.

Through Kaplan & Straton Advocates law firm, Kakuzi has described the article punished on the KHRC website as untrue and misleading.

Kakuzi PLC wants the court to compell KHRC to pull it down and publish a correction.

Kakuzi says that besides the atrocities said to have been committed since 2003, KHRC also accused it of bad corporate governance and gross historical and land injustices.

According to Kakuzi, the KHRC alleged that the historical land injustices by the British agricultural firm have displaced more than 13 neighbouring communities within Murang’a and adjacent counties’.

Kakuzi executive head of corporate affairs Simon Odhiambo says the company’s advocates had through a letter dated February 25, demanded that KHRC file reports with the relevant investigative agencies to facilitate investigations and prosecution, if true.

Kakuzi wrote to KHRC seeking information on the alleged claims. Kakuzi had not been served with any complaint or legal demand letter by the respondents. The respondent did not respond to the petitioner at all. The respondent has failed to disclose any information or action taken to identify the alleged perpetrators of the criminal acts stated in the article. Unless the respondents are compelled by an order of the court to correct the untrue and misleading information contained in the article, they will continue to publish it in further violation of the petitioner’s constitutional rights ” the court papers indicate.

The company says it has more than 3,000 employees, extensive reach to small scale farmers numbering close to 3,000 and 1,300 shareholders. The High Court will advise on the direction of the case on a date to be announced soon.

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