Nyali lawmaker Mohamed Ali is asking the High Court to strike down a petition filed against him by Brookside Dairy Limited.
Brookside had on July 6, 2022, gone to court accusing the MP of vilifying the company, its business and its products at a political rally.
The dairy processing firm, in court papers, claimed that the outspoken lawmaker had claimed that Brookside, a firm linked to President Uhuru Kenya and his family, was exploiting farmers by buying raw milk for Ksh20 and reselling it at Ksh120 after processing.
“Uhuru Kenyatta anakuja hapa, ananunua maziwa shilingi ishirini, anaenda anachemsha anawauzia mia na ishirini,” Jacob Ombongi in a supporting affidavit says Ali uttered these words at a public rally in Nyeri in March 3, 2022.
“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,” Brookside told the court
As a result, the company asked the court to issue orders compelling Mohamed Ali, a former journalist, to pay compensation as determined by the court “for the harm and loss caused to Brookside Dairy Limited by violations pleaded hereabove,”
The company also wanted a permanent injunction restraining Ali from “inciting the public to cause economic or commercial harm to Brookside and its businesses,”
But Ali has raised an objection and wants the high court to throw out the suit. In his defense, the MP says he did not contravene the Bill of Rights as claimed by the company. Instead, he says the provision affords protections and guarantees for natural persons as individuals which protection does not extend to limited liability companies such as Brookside.
“According to Article 19 (3) (a) of the Constitution, the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights belong to individuals and are incapable of being granted to a limited liability company,” He told the court
He further claimed that Brookside was only using the court to unlawfully gag him.