Kenya: Airtel Boss Wanted in Court Over ADs Cash


A Nakuru court has ordered Airtel Kenya Managing Director Rene Meza to appear in court within one week in a case where the municipal council has sued the mobile phone company for defaulting on rate payments.

Magistrate Elizabeth Tanui directed that the MD appears before her in the next one week to avoid the chance of an arrest warrant being issued against him. The prosecution in the case has asked the court to issue the warrant. Meza on behalf of Airtel is accused of owing the Nakuru Municipal Council Sh5.5 million as rates for wall branding advertisements.

The charges against him states that on November 29 last year at various sites, plots and premises within Nakuru municipality, he did wall branding advertisements for Airtel Kenya without authority from the council.

The prosecution told the court that Meza was served with the notice to appear in court for the plea on March 25 but failed to attend. However, lawyers representing Airtel told Tanui that there were ongoing negotiations between the phone company and the Nakuru town clerk to settle the payment.
The lawyers are seeking for a deferment of the matter as a payment agreement is discussed. They added that the MD was not in court due to the ongoing negotiations. The council is claiming Sh5,542, 967 from Airtel.

Tanui further ordered the Nakuru Town Clerk to furnish the prosecution with sufficient instructions and details of the ongoing negotiations to enable them decide how to proceed with the case.

Last week, a regional manager for Safaricom Limited was also arraigned before the same court facing charges of doing wall branding without authority from the council. Wood Gitobu pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined Sh10,000 or in default three months in jail. The council demanded Sh3.8 million from Safaricom for the advertisements.