June 27th 2017

Top Stories / National

If Shell/Vivo can seek help from thugs rather than police, we are dammed

Mr Njoroge, who had differed with the company on the repossession of the premises, arrived shortly thereafter to stop the operation by brandishing a court order he had obtained from Naivasha Law Court stopping his eviction.

By Nyambura Muthoninmuthoni@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 08 Feb 2017 10:42 EAT

Senator Njoroge fires in the air to scare away the 'goons' who were carting away equipment from his petrol station.

The drama in Naivasha where Nominated Senator Paul Njoroge was filmed on television shooting twice in the air to scare a gang that had come to repossess equipment at his petrol station has sent wrong signals about the conduct of our corporations.

In the incident that happened on Tuesday afternoon at the senator's petrol station near Karai shopping center along the Nairobi-Naivasha highway, Mr Polycarp Igathe, the managing director at Shell/Vivo, was caught in the melee while supervising company workers and alleged hired goons who were at the site to recover assets belonging to Shell/Vivo and to close the petrol station. 

The CEO said that Mr Njoroge, who was running the station on a Shell/Vivo contract, had violated the terms of his agreement. According to journalists from the Nation and Standard who reported from the scene, the confrontation started when the workers demolished part of the entrance before carting away fuel pumps.

Mr Njoroge, who had differed with the company on the repossession of the premises, arrived shortly thereafter to stop the operation by brandishing a court order he had obtained from Naivasha Law Court stopping his eviction. The order issued by Naivasha Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu reportedly restrained the fuel company from interfering or taking over or terminating the contract until the case is heard and determined. 

However, the workers were resistant and continued to demolish the place. As the senator engaged the workers in a heated argument, some tried to continue with the demolition forcing him to fire in the air. As matters stand, the senator's firearm certificate has been withdrawn, and he might face charges for disturbing public order.

He denied Shell/Vivo's claims that his petrol station had ran out of fuel, adding that the new move was meant to cancel the dealership and hand it over to the rival trader. "I paid Sh2.5m to Vivo company and I have an Insurance of Sh6m and the fuel company has decided to ignore a court order," said the senator. It is when the senator removed his gun and shot twice in the air. 

The question is, why did a reputed company like Vivo use thugs to invade the premise if the issue was one of contract violations? If indeed the senator was not stocking the station as required, are there no provisions under the contract about how the differences are to be handled? 

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