ODM leader Raila Odinga has given the Standard newspaper and one of its journalists seven days to publish an apology for a story he termed as defamatory.
In a letter by his lawyers Paul Mwangi &Co advocates, Raila said the story titled ‘Former Prime Minister named in KQ Cargo saga’ did not show any link between him and the cargo company’s collapse.
Raila said the article was therefore malicious and lacked facts.
“We have firm instructions to commence proceedings against the journalist of the offending words and the establishment, Standard Group as the publisher thereof within seven days if the said retraction and apology are not published as demanded,” the letter dated October 3 stated.
Raila said the writer and the media house had the sole intention of creating the impression that he was culpable in the closure of the airline cargo subsidiary.
“From the story there is no link between the winding up of the Kenya Airways cargo handling business and our client, save that our client held one share out of 1,000 in a competing cargo business at the time,” the letter continues.
The lawyers said that Raila and Astral Aviation Limited, where Raila is a shareholder at the time, did nor have any influence over the KQ board’s decision to close the cargo business.
“Any benefit that may have befallen on Astral Aviation Limited resulting from the winding up of the Kenya Aiways cargo handling business was not exclusive to it but was enjoyed by all other companies carrying out airfreight cargo handling business in Kenya.”
On Sunday the Standard Newspaper published a story linking Raila to the collapse of KQ’s cargo business unit.
They wrote that an audit report mentioned a company related to Raila as being the beneficiary of the winding up of the KQ cargo business unit.
According to the report, the cargo unit Kencargo International Limited (KK) was shut down in 2004 and the cargo handling business outsourced to a competitor whose list of original shareholders include Raila.