Pevans East Africa, the parent company to popular bookmarker SportPesa, has sued businessman Paul Wanderi Ndung’u for defamation. Court documents indicate that Ndung’u, who was ousted as the Chairman of SportPesa in December 2019, made defamatory remarks against the gaming firm and its directors in a press statement dated November 1, 2020. He had alleged that the company had transferred $278 million (Sh29.1 billion) to several offshore accounts without tabling proof. Ndung’u’s remarks were later published by several media outlets, including Business Daily, who did not verify whether what he was saying is true. In a witness statement presented to the court, Pevans East Africa’s Corporation Secretary Robert Macharia claimed that Ndung’u was aware of the transfer of the monies which went into partnerships with sports entities as well as payment of shared services. Macharia also denied claims that had been made by Ndung’u in his statement alleging that SportPesa had transferred $500,000 (Sh54.6 million) to South Africa. Pevans says it has suffered monumental loss to its reputation, mental anguish. As such, the company is seeking full compensation from Ndung’u who refused to publish an apology despite being served with demand notices. This development comes just a day after the High Court overturned the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) decision to ban Milestone Game Limited from using the SportPesa brand. In a ruling issued on Wednesday November 18, Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya further ordered Safaricom to reopen all its paybill numbers and the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to reactivate the company’s website.
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