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Kenya Railway, Telkom embroiled in Sh222million debt row



Telkom Kenya Limited and the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) are mired in a Sh222million debt wrangle over voice and data services offered to the latter from the 1980s to 2007.

Telkom is claiming Sh217,100,360 from the transport agency awarded by the High Court on February 2,2018 and the costs of the suit amounting to Sh4,478,173 plus interest.

Justice Anthony Ndung’u struck out a request to issue orders forcing the railway operator to make the payments.

“Telkom has omitted a crucial mandatory step in the execution of a decree against the government or a government agency. There is no evidence and it is admitted as much, that the KRC was served with a certificate of order against the government as prescribed in law. The omission is fatal to this application,” he said.

The judge however said that Telkom could apply again by following the right procedure, noting that KRC is aware of the reduced outstanding sum.

Telkom argued that KRC had yet to settle the reduced sum despite the former issuing a letter dated July 31,2018 to the Kenya Railways Managing Director seeking payment.

The court dispute started in 2016 when Telkom filed a suit seeking to be paid the services allegedly rendered to KRC.

Telkom claimed that as an operator of landline public switched telephone network, (PSTN), it provided voice oriented and data oriented telecommunication services to KRC from the latest 1980s through 2007.

Telkom stated that the value of the PSTN voice services gathered more than Sh128,458,420 while data services for the period at issue drew more than Sh88,641,940.

At all material times, KRC is stated to have accepted responsibility for the principal sum claimed.

Telkom insisted that a meeting it held with KRC in 2013 settled the issue of the due amount and further claimed that that KRC acknowledged the debt in 2014 and 2015 and promised to pay.

Its witness, Evelyn Nyaboke testified that several meetings had been held to amicably agree on the claim.

An agreement was reached during one of the meetings on October 15,2013.