A Kenyan science research firm is in court seeking a compensation of Sh22 million from the National Veterinary Institute of Ethiopia for supplying bad livestock vaccines to a United Nations (UN) agency in South Sudan in a sub-contracted tender.
According to the court papers, the Global Scientific & Research Company Limited was in December 2015 contracted by the UN’s Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) to supply various livestock vaccines in Juba, South Sudan. FAO leads the UN’s international efforts to defeat hunger.
The company thereafter engaged the National Veterinary Institute of Ethiopia to manufacture and deliver the livestock vaccines as per the FAO’s request.
The Ethiopia firm accepted the offer and issued the Kenyan compan y with a proforma invoice for $210,925 (Sh23,127,926 in the current forex exchange rate).
The Ethiopian firm was to ship the vaccines directly to Juba South Sudan to FAO in two consignments. But the Kenyan firm says the Eithiopia company was negligent as it supplied the first consignment of vaccines without matching dosage of accompanying diluents hence making the vaccines unfit for purpose.
This caused FAO to reject the vaccines and to terminate the contract awarded to the Kenya Company.
It also argues that the Ethiopian firm was negligent in shipping the vaccines and diluents without advance notification to parties concerned, using a longer route instead of going directly to Juba from Addis Ababa causing ice-packs to thaw and the vaccines to expire due to heat exposure by the time they were received by FAO.
Another claim is that the vaccines were supplied without the required PANVAC Certification.
“It is due to the Defendant’s (National Veterinary Institute of Ethiopia) negligence, FAO rejected the first consignment of vaccines and the Plaintiff (Global Scientific & Research Company Limited) had to ship them back to the Defendant in Addis Ababa Ethiopia at a cost of Sh720,000,” says the Kenyan firm.
Further, that the Defendant severally delayed in the production and delivery of the vaccines necessitating the Plaintiff to extend the letter of credit four times and each time at a cost of Sh890,000.
It says due to the actions of the Ethiopian firm, it lost the benefit of the contract with FAO and lost the business and profit it would otherwise have made. It argues that has suffered loss and damage for which it holds the Ethiopian firm wholly liable.
The plaintiff wants court to compel the Ethiopian company to pay it special damages of Sh22,529,000.
The Ethiopian firm is yet to respond to the court case despite being furnished with the documents four time through International Courier Services and through email in 2020.
As a result, justice Margaret Muigai has directed the Kenyan company to commence the process of seeking a default judgment so that it can proceed with formal proof proceedings.
The judge noted that the court had not inquired as to whether the statutory period -of 14 days after service of documents and a further 14 days for the Ethiopian firm to enter Defence -had elapsed
The effluxion of time is supposed to be confirmed by the Plaintiff or its Advocate writing to the Court or Deputy Registrar seeking grant of judgment.