BY SAM ALFAN.
The High Court has directed a betting firm to pay Sh1.5 million compensation to two parents for using photographs o their children in promotional advertisements.
Justice John Mativo said the firm, Green Sports Africa Ltd, violated the fundamental rights and freedoms of the minors by using their images on the bill board which was erected next to Unga House, Woodvale Avenue in Westlands, Nairobi County.
The children were entitled to damages since their rights were protected by law. “There is absolutely nothing to demonstrate that the firm sought and obtained the consent o the parents.
By voluntarily posing for the photographs the children cannot be said to have consented for the simple reason that they lacked the requisite capacity to grant the consent on account of being minors,” the Judge said.
“A declaration is hereby issued that fundamental rights and freedoms of the two minors N.T.A and T.O.O were violated by the Green Sports Africa Ltd. actions of using their photograph in the Billboard which was erected next to Unga Housed, Woodvale , wetlands Nairobi County shared among the two minors” ruled the judge.
The two parents had sued Green sports Africa limited and Mcheza Limited.
Last year in August high court Judge Joseph Onguto slapped the injunction against Green Sports Africa Limited , and Mcheza.
Court slapped an injunction against Green Sports Africa Limited , public relationship firm Acumen Communication Limited, Nairobi county government and Attorney General pending outcome of the petition filed by two aggrieved parent of the youngster’s.
Parents of two youngsters used on the billboards, through lawyer lawyer Harrison Kinyanyui sued the betting companies for using their children as the image of betting in the country without their consent.
The parents said that it is either the billboards are pulled down or destroyed immediately.
Our children’s images are used to promote gambling in the country, this is unacceptable, they held.
They said that it was a clear indication of the exploitative nature of the gambling industry in Kenya.
According to the parents, Green Sports Africa Limited and Mcheza Limited unlawfully and without the consent of the minors’ parents, put up advertisement by way of a billboard next to Unga house, located along Woodvale Avenue at Westlands bearing the images of their children.
After making frantic efforts for the billboard to be pulled down, all pleas were rebuffed by the two companies.
This comes in the wake of a motion brought about by the minority leader in the National Assembly pursuing a law to regulate gambling industry in Kenya. The motion was however defeated and as such withdrawn until any other time.
The parents of the minors say that Green Sports Africa offered to pay 10,000 shillings to the minors which according to the parents demonstrate the exploitative nature of the said advertisement.
Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the court heard that the two betting companies are violating section 28 of the betting, Lotteries and the Gaming Act, Cap 131 and the principle of the rule of Law under Article 10(2) of the constitution.
The parents one of whom is the CEO of Home Africa Limited want the court to issue an order directing the immediate removal and destruction of the billboard along Woodvale Avenue bearing the minor’s images promoting gambling.
The expenses of the billboards removal, they say should be done at the expense of Green Sports Africa Limited, Mcheza Limited and Nairobi City County Government.