Court shoots down Facebook’s prayer not to be tried in Kenya territory

Meta, the parent company of three social media network ginats, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp will and can be tried in Kenyan courts following the dismissal of a petition by the company not to be tried in Kenyan territories.

This is after Justice Justice Jacob Gakeri of the Employment and Labour Court Monday declined to strike out Meta Platforms Inc and Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd from a case filed by South African Daniel Motaung.

Meta wanted to be removed from the case on the grounds that Kenya’s judicial system does not meet jurisdiction to determine cases against it.

According to Meta, it is not only international but also a foreign company registered in Delaware, US and Dublin, Ireland respectively and they do not transact in the country as resident in the country nor does it trade in the country thus no jurisdiction over it.

Motaung’s lawyer, Mercy Mutemi, had opposed the application on the grounds that the company has influential products that are widely used in the country for social, political and economic gains.

Lawyer Mutemi also argued that the company has been paying digital tax to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from its advertising revenue in the country.

 “Whilst the petitioner agrees that VAT is eventually borne by the consumer, the fact that VAT is charged to the 2nd and 3rd Respondents’ consumers in the first place confirms that the Respondent is actively doing business in Kenya and with Kenyan citizens,” said Mutemi.

According to a Business Daily report, the case against Meta was filed last year by Motaung.

He complained that together with his colleagues suffered, psychological injuries arising from repeated exposure to extremely disturbing, graphic violent content coupled with a toxic working environment.

The South African was employed as a moderator by Meta’s local outsourcing company, Samasource Kenya EPZ Ltd.

He wants to be paid damages for the suffering he allegedly underwent in the six months he worked for the firm.

Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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