Kenyan billionaire and DL Group Chairman David Langat has been sued by a travel agency for allegedly failing to foot a $152,000 travel bill that his family incurred over a one-year period.
According to court documents filed by African Touch Safaris Limited, Langat flew around the country and abroad between January 2018 and September 2019 and in the process spent Sh8.1 million ($73,138) for both his business and his personal trips.
“The aforementioned amounts have fallen and payable and remains due and outstanding from the defendants and despite demand having been made, the defendants have refused, neglected and or otherwise failed to pay the aforementioned sum or any part thereof,” judicial documents filed by African Touch Safaris lawyers Nganywa and Kibet Partners LLP read.
The business tycoon has been sued alongside his wife, Hellen Jerobon Langa, and his children.
The travel agency claims that in 2018 Langat directed them to organize domestic private air travel for him and his family and invoice him. He promised to pay in Kenyan shillings and U.S. dollars to the agency for sorting out travel for himself and his family. While the agency purchased the travel tickets during the one-year period at their own expense, Langat promised to eventually settle the bills, but has thus far failed to do so. The fare demanded from Langat accrued from early 2018 to September 2019. He is alleged to owe Africa Touch Safaris Limited sums of $34,000 and Sh 1.9 million ($17,154). Debt interest has accrued in the amount of Sh5 million ($45,142). Langat’s travel, according to court documents, was mostly to Eldoret from Nairobi.
“The plaintiff avers that between July 23, 2018 and Sept. 27, 2019 the first defendant (Langat) with the instructions of second (DL Group), second (Rift Valley Tea), third (Ibera Tea) incurred expenditure amounting to Sh8.18 million inclusive of interest for traveling to various destinations,” court documents read.
Africa Touch Safaris is also suing Langat’s wife. According to the lawsuit, she also signed a contract with the firm to manage her domestic travel – mostly return flights from Nairobi to Eldoret in July 2018. The travel firm insists that Hellen Jerobon Langat accrued Sh5.1 million ($46,045) between the date she signed the contract and June 2020. It claims that she has declined to foot her bills.
Africa Touch is also demanding Sh 3.7 million ($33,400) from nine of their children and relatives for travels made around 2019. According to the company, Langat’s company, DL Group, agreed to settle their bills in February 2020 on a monthly basis and top up two-percent interest on the accrued amount.
However, in their joint reply, the Langat family argued that there was never a contract between them and the travel agent and requested the court to dismiss the case.
“At all relevant points in this case, there was no contractual relationship, legal or otherwise,” the Langat family responded, adding that if there was any such a contract, the amount demanded was incorrect.
All the cases were filed before the Court of Commerce of the Magistracy of Milimani in Nairobi.
Langat, one of Kenya’s richest and most influential men, is the chairman of DL Group, an East African conglomerate with interests in agriculture, energy and real estate.
DL Teas, one of the group’s subsidiaries, is among the largest tea producers in Africa.
Another DL Group subsidiary is Africa Economic Zones Limited. It has a license to develop and operate Kenya’s first licensed special economic zone located in Eldoret, Kenya.
Langat also owns hotels and shopping malls in Kenya.