A Rwandese businessman has sued two local logistics companies he contracted to transmit raw material for his mattress manufacture company from the port of Mombasa to Kigali but are now holding onto the containers in a strange twist of events.
Afrifoam liaison officer, Hori Cubonye Jesus Marie Joseph, is seeking redress for the release the merchandise he says are illegally held in Mombasa after contracting Modern Truckers Limited and VantagePoint Clearing and Forwarding Limited to handle logistics and onward delivery to Rwanda.
A Mr Harrison Singe is also named as a third defendant in the suit.
The company, according to its lawyer Eddy Orinda, has been incurring hefty loses and has closed its factory due to the impasse at the port of Mombasa.
In the suit filed by lawyer Eddy Orinda of One&Associates it is stated that a contract between Afrifoam and Modern Truckers Limited entailed the clearing and forwarding of cargo from the port of Mombasa to Kigali, Rwanda.
Armtwist the Rwandese
Afrifoam imported, through Modern Truckers limited six containers in October 2017 whose clearing and forwarding documents are now illegally being held unto apparently to arm-twist the Rwandese to cough up more cash.
“On November 14 2017, the clearing documents were forwarded to VantagePoint Clearing and Forwarding Limited, also a respondent in the suit, to enable them clear the containers , however they have refused to release the documents and to proceed to clear the containers,” according to the lawyer.
Suit papers say that Vantagepoint Clearing and Forwarding limited is illegally holding onto Afrifoam’s containers and clearing documents “without any lawful order or colour of right.”
Loss of business
As a result, the continued questionable action by the defendants have occasioned huge loses and threaten further huge loses in terms of raw material, idle manpower as well as loss of business.
Afrifoam avers that the illegality is an affront to the constitution of Kenya and legal acquisition of property and asks court to issue a permanent order of injunction to restrain the agents from holding onto the containers under bill of lading SEL0673514 and SEL0670480.
The company also prays for judgement to be entered against its tormentors for general damages for loss of business.
Suit papers state that the respondent be ordered to pay demur-rage costs and other expenses arising out of this illegal action.
“They have colluded to hold onto clearing and forwarding documents making it impossible to clear the containers and have them released to Rwanda…” the businessman cries out.
He says Modern Truckers limited is deliberately delaying the transmission of these documents to settle scores with the Afrifoam director with whom they have another pending suit in Rwanda in respect of three separate containers.
“The continued holding of the property has led to closure of the factory and continued loss and prejudice,” Orinda told court.
“It has been impossible for my company to get hold of the documents to be used in clearing as our contract agent is adamant that they will not forward or handover any document…” Marie’s affidavit reads.
The businessman says he does not owe any fee with regard to the transaction in question.