Kenya Data Network (KDN), a full service data communications carrier, is facing a new petition filed by its contractor, Soliton Telemec over a KSHS 378-million debt dispute. In early 2011, the high court of Kenya temporarily stopped Soliton Telemec, a fiber laying company from pursuing the case.
The court directed Soliton Telemec to temporarily stop advertising the petition pending a determination of an application by KDN, which refuted the alleged debt. This week, Soliton Telemec moved to court seeking to dissolve the company.
Soliton Telemec says it entered into two contracts with KDN in 2007 and 2009 for the implementation of various fibre optic projects and the maintenance of cable network in the country and accuses the company of nonpayment.
According to a KDN statement, “KDN has been compelled to move to court to stop Soliton-Telemec from proceeding with a wind up petition in which Soliton Telemec claims that KDN is unable to pay its debt.
Subsequent to this application by KDN, the court has issued a temporary injunction restraining Soliton Telemec from proceeding with the petition.”
KDN tends to issue out contracts for engineering companies in order to complete its fibre optic cable projects.
KDN has been working with Soliton Telemec since 2005. The firm has been a key contractor for KDN to lay fibre optic cable in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
The latest dispute relates to the construction of the Wajir to Mombasa fiber cable, which KDN intends to provide a redundant route to its frequently sabotaged Mombasa to Nairobi line.
In its application, KDN states that contrary to Soliton Telemac’s claim, the company has in fact overpaid and that Soliton-Telemec is the one in debt to it.
“Soliton Telemec recently completed work for KDN and the accuracy of the invoice was questioned by KDN. Instead of carrying out a joint reconciliation of invoices with KDN, SolitonTelemec opted to approach the court,” says Rikus Matthyser, KDN Managing Director.
“KDN has a healthy payment record and pride itself in its ability to forge partnerships that allow for professional and amicable dispute resolution. Soliton Telemec opted to resolve this matter in court and KDN is therefore compelled to protect its business from unsubstantiated claims,” says Matthyser.
By: Brian Adero