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Bidco ordered to pay supermarket Sh5m in distribution deal row

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Bidco ordered to pay supermarket Sh5m in distribution deal row

Bidco Oil Refineries has been ordered to pay a
Bidco Oil Refineries has been ordered to pay a supermarket in Kajiado Sh5 million for terminating a distributorship deal signed decades ago. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Bidco Oil Refineries has been ordered to pay a supermarket in Kajiado Sh5 million for terminating a distributorship deal signed decades ago.

Justice Mary Kasango ruled that Ngong Hills Supermarket was entitled to damages for breaching a contract signed in 2001.

Although the distributorship hardly lasted more than a year, Justice Kasango noted that the Oil company used to ‘dump’ its products to the supermarket and at the same time supplied shops within the territory, which was agreed would be supplied by Ngong Hills, thereby denying the owner the opportunity to sell.

“The supermarket was bombarded by defeatist circumstances, not of its own making, but of the making of Bidco which no doubt eventually led to its failure,” the Judge said.

The owner, Robert Kimani testified that his supermarket suffered financially and had to repay the guarantee which its banker honoured on request by Bidco.

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“One would wonder was it the intention of Bidco to put the supermarket out of business by the actions it took? From this court’s vantage point there does seem to be credibility in that point of view,” the Judge said.

Mr Kimani has sued the oil company for breach of contract and sought general damages for unlawful interference with his business. He wanted to be paid Sh12.7 million.

Mr Kimani, the director of Ngong Hills Supermarket said he operated both as a supermarket and wholesaler, selling various types of merchandise since 1996.

Bidco then approached him in early 200 requesting to be a distributor of its oil products. The oil manufacturer directed him to cease selling any other company’s oil products during the distributorship period.

And a day after the deal, Bidco sent him products worth Sh1.7 million, even before he ordered for them.

The products, he said, remained in the supermarket until they expired as he was unable to sell.

This is because despite agreeing that he would be allowed to supply other supermarkets in Karen, Embulbul, Ngong, Matasia and Kiserian, Bidco went ahead and made supplies in the same territory.



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