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World Vision has moved to court seeking to settle a dispute with an architectural firm and a contractor over defects in its Sh243 million regional headquarters, which saw it evict staff to do repairs.

World Vision initiated arbitration proceedings against Synthesis Limited and contractor Mavji Construction, claiming that the two firms were negligent in putting up its regional headquarters in Karen, and that its attempts to settle the dispute amicably failed.

The organisation wants the two firms to compensate it for the repair costs.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was the chief guest when the NGO officially opened its Karen offices in July. The premises will serve as its regional headquarters, serving Eastern Africa – including Ethiopia and Eritrea.

World Vision wants the High Court to merge two arbitration proceedings against the two firms.

The NGO holds that the two proceedings are both about its building and hinged on similar points of law.

But the two firms argue that merging the two proceedings will delay determination, and that doing so will veer off the dispute resolution processes in the contracts they signed with World Vision.


“The claims against the two respondents are intertwined and incapable of separation. Unless the orders sought are granted, World Vision will be forced to continue on the same claim and quantum against the respondents separately with the result that it may receive contradicting awards in respect of the same subject matter and evidence from the two tribunals,” World Vision operations director John Paul Makoni said.

But Synthesis said letting the High Court select an arbitrator will violate the firm’s right to participate in the process as provided in its contract with World Vision.

Mavji holds that the NGO has never furnished it with a claim, yet the deadline for doing so was December last year.

Synthesis further argues that World Vision has no legal claim against it or Mavji, and it is taking a gamble with the High Court suit in the hope of squeezing out a victory.

“Arbitration is a consensual and voluntary method of dispute resolution based on the will of the parties. We have not given permission for the two disputes to be consolidated…” Synthesis Director David Akatsa Anzaya says in court papers.

World Vision hired Synthesis in 2011 and Mavji in 2012. The NGO occupied the building in 2014, but noticed cracks shortly afterwards.