Despite proposing a 'bribe' of Sh45, 000 each to them; the Funyula locals have refused to withdraw the case from court
Interestingly, 58 locals from Funyula are giving soft drinks giant, Coca-Cola a headache.
Funyula Constituency is a small electoral constituency in Kenya. It is one of seven constituencies in Busia County. The constituency was established for 1997, but it is gaining worldwide recognition as a result of the actions of a few locals.
In what could well become one of the biggest consumer cases in the history of Kenya, Coca Cola is in court for a bad product.
The 58 people are accusing Coca Cola of selling them contaminated drinks.
Earlier today, the High Court in Busia started pre-trial of the case, in which the local residents claim they all suffered ill-health after consuming the drinks nine years ago.
It was surprising to note that Coca Cola has been negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the locals but failed to reach an agreement after they all refused the Sh45, 000 cash compensation which Coca Cola offered them each.
Critics have termed the compensation a ‘bribe’, which they say further proves the guilt of the soft drink giant.
According to a report by the Nation, three petitioners — Mr. Stephen Serulo, Mr. Zablon Barasa and Mr. Richard Sikudi from Funyula, sued the Atlanta-based company, its Africa subsidiaries (Coca Cola Central, East, and West) and local agent Equator Bottlers Limited on behalf of 55 others.
The petitioners say they bought soda separately on November 21, and that more than 30 people who took the drinks were from Funyula Constituency, while the others came from other parts of Busia County.
They say some 60 patients were confirmed sick by then-Busia County Referral Medical Superintendent Sande Charo as a result of taking the drinks.
Two have since died, although their deaths were not related to the drinks.
The petitioners presented medical results in court showing that they suffered acute abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, with general body weakness.
Most of them were treated for food poisoning and given antibiotics.
In a twist of the plot which further puts Coca Cola in deep trouble, samples of the beverages collected from Funyula and tested by the Kenya Bureau of Standards revealed that they did not meet the required food standards.
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