The winner of Pwani Oil’s ‘Kikwetu Supa Chef’ competition that was held in 2014 is yet to receive her Ksh5 million prize, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
In the competition that was held in conjunction with Mediamax Network Ltd’s K24, the winner, who emerged to be Elizabeth Atieno Obayi, was to receive a Ksh3 million restaurant, a Ksh2 million advertising airtime on K24 and a Ksh500,000 cash prize.
Ms Obayi was announced the winner on July 20, 2014, after a three-month competition that was held between April 2014 and June 2014.
Court documents in our possession show that Mediamax honoured the Ksh500,000 pledge on August 21, 2014.
This writer understands that Ms Obayi was tasked with finding an appropriate location for setting up the restaurant, either in Nairobi or Mombasa. She was also to present a proposal of the same, according to court papers.
Court submissions show that she identified close to 10 places that she wanted to set up the restaurant, all of which Pwani Oil turned down.
Among the places she identified included a spot in Moi Avenue Mombasa, a house in Nyali Opposite Maasai Restaurant, Ratna Square in Mombasa and Nyali Centre among other places.
According to court submissions, Pwani Oil said that Ms Obayi presented a proposal that was beyond the agreed amount of Ksh3 million.
“The Plaintiff breached the said agreement by submitting proposals whose budget exceeded the agreed amount of Ksh3,000,000 yet the Plaintiff was not willing to top up the balance. As such the In Defendant requested the Plaintiff to go back and rethink the proposals,” Pwani Oil said in their submissions.
However, Ms Obayi denies the allegations by Pwani Oil, claiming that all her proposals were shot down on flimsy grounds.
“Non of my proposals at any given time were above their suggested budget. Pumping (money) into business has never been a big deal. Who would be given an offer of a restaurant setup and not want to work for its success?” she pauses.
After Pwani declined all her proposals, the managers proposed that she operates a mobile restaurant, which was way below the agreed budget and not favourable for her.
“I downed the mobile kitchen proposal since l’m already in one having known the pros and cons of it, it’s never an everyday business, and an injunction of Ksh3 million is wasteful for a mobile kitchen. There other suggestion to setup a restaurant within a restaurant “Reef Hotel” with restrictions of food only was not workable according to the type of clientele study and market survey,” says Ms Obayi.
Having failed to reach a middle ground with Pwani Oil, Ms Obayi was willing to settle for an out of court agreement that would see her receive less, but operate on her own.
On October 22, 2018, after close to four years of push and pull, Ms Obayi felt exhausted and wanted to settle the matter out of court. Through her lawyer FM Kadima, she asked Pwani Oil to give her a sum of Ksh2.5 million instead of Ksh3 million, and Ksh1.4 million for advertising instead of Ksh2 million from K24.
“In the interests of the expeditious disposal of the matter herein, we propose the settlement of this matter out of court. Considering the inability of parties to agree at a mutually acceptable location for the restaurant despite all the efforts in that regard by the Plaintiff and Pt Defendant the latter do pay the former the sum of Ksh2,500,000 to facilitate her unilateral setting up of the restaurant. The 2nd Defendant (K24)do pay the Plaintiff the sum of Ksh1,400,000 to facilitate the advertising of the restaurant,” the letter read in part.
Pwani Oil shunned the out of court settlement, and as of February this year, the case was still ongoing, with the complainant citing frustrations from Pwani Oil’s side.
For instance, as of February 14, 2020, Pwani Oil had not submitted written submissions as ordered by the court.
A ruling on the case was to be made on March 20, 2020, but has not been done to date due to COVID-19.