A messenger who lost his employer’s money has been ordered to pay Ksh5.5 million. High Court judge Joseph Sergon ruled that Robert Ndaru and his boss, Evans Mburu, pay the amount equally and bear the cost of the case.
Ndaru lost a total amount of USD 6.8 million (Ksh680 million) in 2004 which he had been sent to bank by his employer, the Del Monte Kenya Limited. Ndaru allegedly lost the money after suffering an epileptic seizure on the streets of Nairobi.
Justice Sergon found that Ndaru was reckless for not taking his medicine.
“The defences put forward by the defendants are found to be lacking in merit. I am convinced that the second defendant in the circumstances acted recklessly and carelessly hence he is found liable for negligence. In the end, I am satisfied that the plaintiff has proved its claim against both the defendants on a balance of probabilities. Consequently, judgement is entered in favour of the plaintiff.”
Del Monte had first pressed criminal charges against Ndaru in which he was charged with the offence of stealing, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.
Del Monte relaunched the case with new accusations of recklessness in the side of Ndaru for not carrying his medicine despite knowing that he was epileptic. This time, Del Monte implicated Ndaru’s immediate boss, Evans Mburu.
This time, the judge agreed with Del Monte despite the two denying liability.
Justice Sergon found that the arguments by Mburu and Ndaru were not convincing enough for the court to dismiss the case.
According to Ndaru, on the fateful day, he was given a company car and ordered to bank the money. He first dropped off a cheque at Barclays Bank then started walking to Commercial Bank of Africa with the money in a bag, when he got the seizure and lost the money.
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