Kirinyaga District Farmers Society v Kirinyaga
District Cooperative Union Limited
High Court, at Nairobi November 23, 2000
Civil Case No 226 of 2000
Co-operative Societies – disputes between co-operative societies – whether the High Court has original jurisdiction in such disputes – meaning of “dispute” within the meaning of the Co-operative Societies Act.
Both the plaintiff and defendant were co-operative societies under the Co-operative Societies Act, No 12 of 1997. The plaintiff claimed from the defendant Kshs 19,759,303/-, interest and costs. On the plaintiff’s filing an application to enter judgment on admission or alternatively to strike out the defence and enter summary judgment, the defendant took a preliminary point that since the suit was between two co-operative societies, the Court had no jurisdiction under section 76 of the Act. It was argued that the proper forum was the Co-operatives Tribunal.
1. Rules of evidence do not necessarily apply to proceedings before the Co-operative Tribunal and the Tribunal can regulate its own procedure
2. The High Court of Kenya has, by section 81 of the Co-operative Societies Act, the appellate jurisdiction from a decision by the Tribunal and the High Court’s decision is final.
3. Mere refusal to pay upon a claim which is not really disputed does not necessarily give rise to a ‘dispute’ calling an arbitration clause into operation. It does not follow that Courts cannot be resorted to without previous recourse to arbitration to enforce a claim which is not disputed but which the trader merely persists in not paying.
Preliminary objection upheld, suit struck out.
1. Gatanga Coffee Growers Co-operative Society Ltd v Gitau  EA 361
2. Lukenya Ranching & Farming Co-operative Society Ltd v Kavoloto  EA 414
3. Njoroge, Ernest Muiruri & 2 others v Kabira Karanja & 4 others Civil Appeal No 114 of 1997
4. Kanguramai Farmers Co-op Society Ltd v Irati Farmers Co-op Society Ltd & another Civil Case No 1364 of 1999
5. Kandara Farmers Co-op Society & 9 others v Joseph Kanyua & 18 others Civil Case No 2646 of 1998
6. Geomax Consulting Engineers v KPT Civil Case No 1210 of 1996
7. London & North Western Railways v Jones  2 KB 35
Sutton, DSJ (Ed) Russel on Arbitration London: Sweet & Maxwell
1. Co-operative Societies Act, 1997 (Act No 12 of 1997)
2. Co-operative Societies Act (cap 490) section 76, 77, 78, 81
3. Co-operative Societies Act [Uganda] sections 80(1)(2)