Court of Appeal sets date for hearing Bia Tosha case against EABL


Court of Appeal sets date for hearing Bia Tosha case against EABL

Bia Tosha, a beer distribution company in Kenya, was Tuesday offered a ray of hope after the Court of Appeal set a date for the hearing of its contempt of court case against East African Breweries Limited (EABL).

The Appellate Court registrar set the matter for hearing on May 28, 2019.

This came as a relief for Bia Tosha given that since 2016, EABL has been battling to block the contempt of court case from proceeding to avoid punishment should it be found culpable.

The Court of Appeal had directed EABL to continue doing business with Bia Tosha pending determination of a case between the two companies.

The legal battle is over a beer distribution contract on 22 routes in Nairobi.

Bia Tosha claims it has paid over Ksh.38 million in goodwill for the distribution routes and that KBL declared the routes as part of sections which have been making profits over the years.

But KBL avers that the said contract with distributors is restricted and that any dispute should first go through mediation and arbitration.

The manufacturer further adds that the they only appointed other distributors to the 22 routes in dispute after Bia Tosha failed to sufficiently supply the areas.

In the matter, Bia Tosha wants the court to bar KBL from appointing other distributors and refund a cumulative Ksh. 38 million in goodwill paid over the last 10 years for exclusive distribution rights; a demand KBL opposes.

The Supreme Court in December last year referred the case between Bia Tosha and KBL back to the Court of Appeal.

The apex court ruled that it has no jurisdiction to hear the application by Bia Tosha seeking to have the KBL managers held in contempt of court.

Bia Tosha, a distribution company, had moved to the Supreme Court saying its application to have East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) bosses punished for contempt of court should be heard first before the main appeal.

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Story By Agnes Oloo
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