More than 10 witnesses have been summoned to appear before the Busia High Court in November to testify in a case where by 58 people had sued Coca-cola company for allegedly selling them contaminated soda drinks.
In a letter dated October 15, 2019 written and signed by the Busia Deputy High Court registrar, Phoebe Kulecho, the witnesses have been urged to appear in court (in person) on November 18, 2019 failure to which they could face grave action.
“Whereas your attendance is required to give evidence as per Court Order in the above suit, you are hereby required personally to appear before this court on the 18 November, 2019 in the forenoon to produce laboratory analysis results vide Ref No. MPHS/DC/125 dated 30 July, 2012 and to be present at all times until your presence is dispensed with by the court,” the letter said.
Among those expected to testify include Mr. Kepha Ombacho (officer in charge of Environmental Health), Mr. J.K Kibathi from the Government Chemist and Mr Antony Irungu from Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs)
The other witnesses whom the letter was addressed to include Mr. Martin Nyakiano, Mr. Felix Omondi, M/s Catherine Were, Mr. Seth Ngoso (Kebs), Mr Emmanuel Luvai (former District Public Health Officer) and Mr. Wilson Kosgey.
Particulars of the case are that three litigants, Stephen Serulo, Zablon Barasa and Richard Sikudi (on behalf of 55 others) filed a class action suit against Coca Cola , its Africa subsidiary (Coca Cola Central, East and West ) and the local company Equator Bottlers limited.
The plaintiffs complain that on November 21, 2013 30 people bought contaminated sodas at separate shops in Funyula Constituency whereas the rest bought sodas with the same characteristics in other areas within Busia county
In a standard report, Kebs quality assurance officer, Jared Omondi corroborated the plaintiffs claim. A further report from office of the medical superintendent at Busia County Referral Hospital dated Feburary 22,2016 revealed that Mr. Serulo, a plaintiff, had experienced an acute onset of abdominal pains, vomiting and had general body malaise after taking the soda.
The litigants had earlier rejected Ksh. 45,000 which coca-cola had offered them as out-of-court settlement.
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