The Star (Nairobi)

15 February 2013

Kenya: Total Kenya Executives Fined Sh200,000 for Contempt

Four senior executives of Total Kenya have been sentenced to jail for contempt of court. Managing Director Alexis Vovk together with managers Leah Njogu, Eric Okumu and Caleb Apunga are to spend one month at the Industrial Area Remand Prison or pay a fine of Sh 200,000 each for disobeying a court order restraining them from canceling a contract between Total Kenya and a transport company, Kyevauka Services.

The order had been issued by High court judge Murugi Mugo on May 5 2011 and on the same day, Kyevauka received a letter from Total giving it a month's notice to terminate the contract.

On June 2 of the same year, Total instructed its agents at the Mombasa Depot and the LGP plant in Nairobi not to load Kyevauka's trucks with its product.

The court observed that this took place even after the court order had been served upon Total Kenya. Aggrieved by the turn of events, Kyevauka dashed to court accusing Total Kenya of blatant disobeying the court.

Through lawyer Nelson Havi, Kyevauka submitted that Total Kenya was served with order yet it went ahead and annulled the contract. Total Kenya defended its move saying by the time the order was being made, the notice terminating the contract between it and the transport company had been served and hence the injunction had been overtaken by events.

The company also argued that the orders were not served personally as required by law. In his ruing, justice Ogolla said he was satisfied there were valid court orders.

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