Equity Bank appeal to retain prepaid smart card in gate collection rejected

Equity Bank appeal to retain prepaid smart card in gate collection rejected

The Kenyan courts have dismissed a case filed by Equity Bank to reinstate its contract with Narok County for the collection of revenue at the Masai Mara National Reserve via a prepaid smart card service.

The bank had moved to court to block the civic authority from ending a contract for collection of access fees into the reserve pending an arbitration process to resolve the stalemate.

The court ruling stated: “What comes out very clearly from the contents of the replying Affidavit is that one way or another the Defendant herein in Narok County was determined to terminate the agreement. Whether it was so justified is not for determination in this forum.”

High Court judge Jonathan Havelock ruled the bank had failed to prove the damages it would have suffered if the contract was terminated.

The court said the contract contains a clause to enable the county to legally terminate the agreement, but says the same clause allows Equity Bank to claim any damages incurred by terminating the contract.

In its submission, the bank claimed it had invested in the collection system and would suffer irreparable damages should the contract be terminated.

The council had signed a ten-year agreement with Equity Bank two years ago where X INFOTECH implemented the project, based on a prepaid, multifunctional card solution implementation in Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve.

The project included delivery and integration of such components as multi-application payment cards, card printers and MultiPerso Instant Issuing solution.

Narok County terminated the agreement on June 25 following the lapsing of a 14-day notice issued on the grounds that the collection system was defective.

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