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Pioneer House owners lose Sh117m bomb claim

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Pioneer House owners lose Sh117m bomb claim


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An aerial photo shows the aftermath of the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on August 7, 1998. PHOTO | COURTESY

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Summary

  • Judge Wilfrida Okwany dismissed the claim from Pioneer Holdings (Africa) Ltd, saying the destruction was an act of terrorism not covered by the insurance policy.
  • Evidence presented in court showed that Pioneer Holdings purchased a policy in 1995 in which Jubilee and Concord were to compensate it by 70 percent and 30 percent, susceptible to damage caused by fire, explosion, riots, strike and malicious damage.
  • The double blast caused by al-Qaeda in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi led to the deaths of 250 people and injured more than 5,000 in the two cities.

The owners of Pioneer House on Moi Avenue have lost a bid to be paid 117 million sh.117 million by two insurance companies for the damage to the building caused by the August 7, 1998 bombing.

Judge Wilfrida Okwany dismissed the claim from Pioneer Holdings (Africa) Ltd, saying the destruction was an act of terrorism not covered by the insurance policy between the owners and Jubilee Insurance #ticker: JUB and collapsed Concord Insurance.

Evidence presented in court showed that Pioneer Holdings purchased a policy in 1995 in which Jubilee and Concord were to compensate it by 70 percent and 30 percent, susceptible to damage caused by fire, explosion, riots, strike and malicious damage.

“I find that the defendants have provided sufficient evidence to show that the activities that led to the explosion at the U.S. Embassy building, whose impact spilled out and caused damage to the plaintiff’s Pioneer House, were terrorism-related,” the judge said.

The double blast caused by al-Qaeda in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi led to the deaths of 250 people and injured more than 5,000 in the two cities.

Pioneer had claimed that after the explosion, an engineer performed structural integrity on the building and estimated the damage at Sh117.9 million. The building owners wrote to the two insurers and claimed responsibility in 1998.

The court was also told that the owners received a grant from the US Embassy of Sh22.9 million for the damage suffered, but Pioneer said it was not a replacement for the insurance claim.

In his ruling, Judge Okwany noted that the insurance policy was still in place when the explosion occurred, but added that Pioneer signed a clause excluding acts of terrorism from the policy.

“However, the defendant waived liability based on an alleged exclusion clause in the insurance policy that excluded the defendants’ liability under the insurance contract if the explosion that caused the loss was caused by terrorist acts,” the judge said.

She said the explosion could not be equated with a normal explosion covered by the insurance policy.

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