High Court dismisses Brookside’s case against MP Mohamed Ali

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 13 Oct, 2022 11:47 | 2 mins read
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Brookside Dairy Limited, has suffered a major blow after the High Court struck out a suit in which it was seeking damages from Nyali Member of Parliament Mohamed Ali.

Justice Hedwig Ong'undi of the High Court, sitting in Milimani, dismissed a case involving defamation in which the MP was accused of inciting the public against the company's products.

While dismissing the case, the judge upheld preliminary objections raised by Ali that the case was filed in the wrong forum.

The judge noted that the case filed by Brookside should have been filed in the civil court as her court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the lawsuit.

"I find and hold that this case was filed in the wrong forum. The case should have been filed in civil court. The same is dismissed with costs," the judge said.

In the case, the company had moved to the Constitution and Human Rights Division seeking a permanent order stopping the lawmaker from advocating public hatred against it or inciting the public on its products.

The firm also wanted the MP compelled to respect its rights and reputation and compensate it for the alleged harm and loss caused by him.

Brookside had filed the lawsuit on grounds the MP, on March 3, 2022 at a public rally in Nyeri town alleged that the milk manufacturing company was exploiting farmers by buying raw milk at Ksh20 and reselling at Ksh120 after processing.

According to the court documents, Ali said; “Uhuru Kenyatta comes here, he buys milk at Ksh20, he goes and boils it and then sells it back to you at Ksh120”.

“The statement meant that the company exploits the dairy farmers who sell and supply milk to it as raw material for its business. The said statement also meant that the company subjects farmers or suppliers to unfair treatment,” reads the court petition.

In relation to its consumers, the company says the MP’s statement meant that it sells processed milk products that were not processed or manufactured to the required health or safety standards and are of substandard quality.

“The statement was meant to and did cause economic or commercial harm to the company and its business,” says the firm adding that its rights under Article 20, 33(2) and 27 of the Constitution were violated by the MP advocating public hatred against it.

The company further argued that by vilifying its products, the MP violated its constitutional right to good reputation.

In an affidavit filed in court by the company's secretary Jacob Ombongi, Brookside informed the court that the investors and shareholders of the milk firm comprise local and international shareholders.

International shareholders hold 40 per cent shares and that some members of the Kenyatta family are among the local shareholders.

The secretary said the remarks of the MP were false and malicious and the court should compel him to pay damages occasioned.

“The actions of the MP were aimed at turning away or inciting resentment or hatred against the petitioner or its products by consumers of its processed products, its suppliers of raw milk and the public generally,” Ombongi said.

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