By Prudence Minayo
Royal Mabati Company is a roofing materials manufacturer that has been in operation in Kenya since 2005. The multi-national company started with a factory in Nairobi and grew to have distribution centres across Kenya and the wider East Africa region. Until recently, Royal Mabati had made a name for itself as a market leader in the manufacture of roofing products.
According to well placed sources, the company is owned by Moses Ikinya Kang’arua who also doubles as the CEO.
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In 2017, the company was granted Superbrands East Africa 2017-2018 award.
Superbrands East Africa Project Director and Associate Publisher said at the time of the then high riding company:
“Royal Mabati is awarded this prestigious certificate having scored well under the quality, reliability and distinction categories. We hope this trend will be reflected on their daily service to their customers.”
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Troubles with KRA And Clients
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The company has been on the receiving bad publicity from unhappy clients whose orders have remained undelivered for months. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has also been on the neck of the once high flying company.
In 2019, Mr. Ikinya appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi at the Milimani Law Court. He had been charged with tax evasion amounting to Sh900m. He faced 12 counts including tax related fraud allegations, altering statements related to income tax returns, failing to declare income taxes and Value Added Taxes. He was accused of making inaccurate statements in income tax returns to reduce corporate tax liability totalling to Sh447 million between 2016 and 2018, and Value Added Tax by Sh299 million. He had also been accused of under declaring the weights of imported goods. This led to weight variance and evasion of payment of duty amounting to Sh120.5 million from 2018 to 2019.
Mr. Ikinya was also faulted for failing to account for goods deposited at a bonded warehouse. He allegedly substituted and removed goods worth Sh62 million leading to loss in tax amounting to Sh25.7 million. He denied all these allegations and was released on a bond of Sh3 million or alternative bail of Sh1 million.
On May 17, 2022, Royal Mabati was fined Sh2,652,363 by the Competitions Authority of Kenya (CAK) following documented complaints by customers. The complaints range from failure and delay to deliver bought products within deadlines. They also asked customers to pay delivery fees despite advertising free deliveries. Customers had also lamented about request to change specifications of orders after they had made payments.
The decision to fine the company became final after they lost an appeal case.
“The authority is of the opinion that this ruling will deter suppliers of goods and services from engaging in conduct that misrepresents the terms of a transaction to consumers and encourage implementation of robust and fair complaints address mechanism,” CAK said in a statement on Tuesday.
One of the customers Gilbert Mabwai told Nation that he made an order on June 2017. He was told his order would be delivered in two days but by December 2017, he was yet to receive the goods .
The roofing company has been ordered to refund customers who have complaints within 60 days from the determination date r deliver materials to the customers’ chosen location within thirty days. They were also warned against misleading and false advertisements.
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