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Prince Indah in lawsuit drama over hyped Kisumu concert

By Rushdie Oudia September 15th, 2023 3 min read

A much-anticipated mega concert featuring Benga maestro Evans Ochieng Owino, known as Prince Indah, scheduled for Saturday, September 16, in Kisumu may be in jeopardy as the local Bar Owners Association contemplates taking legal action to halt the event.

The association alleges that the organisers, with support from the Kisumu County Government, have violated an agreement they had signed, shortchanging them.

According to Mr Daniel Maneno Ouma, Chairperson of the Kisumu Bar and Club Owners Association, and Mr Bob Evans Andala, the Secretary-General, they had struck a deal to host the concert, focusing on selling alcohol at the event.

Prince Indah was supposed to receive gate collections and provide part of the security.

In compliance with the agreement, the association booked and paid for the venue, managed by the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) at Mamboleo grounds, where the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, the event’s venue, is located.

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This agreement is outlined in a letter dated June 27, 2023 which Nairobi News saw.

In the letter, they also agreed to pay the required levies and adhere to all the regulations governing the stadium and society. Additionally, they committed to providing adequate security personnel on the day of the event.

A letter from ASK, dated August 7, 2023, signed by Ms Rose Sharon, the ASK Kisumu branch Manager, confirmed that the bars and club owners had paid Sh116,000 to hire the grounds for the live event on September 16, 2023.

However, the association only learned of the change of plans a week ago when they received a letter approving a different festival—a talent search—to take place on the same day.

This prompted an angry response from the association, as they believe they are being unfairly treated since the organizers intend to bring in a partner from Nairobi to sell drinks.

“We had a deal since June, and we are businesspersons who invest cash with a clear projection of income. We are wondering why someone is out to sabotage us at the last minute,” said Mr Ouma, the Chairman of the association.

The bar owners are urging the organisers to honour their original agreement or face legal action.

“If the organisers and the county government fail to honour their end of the bargain, we will use the ground for other purposes since we are the ones who had booked it,” stated Mr Andala, the Secretary-General.

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The controversy has also highlighted the ongoing conflict regarding who has the authority to authorize the use of the grounds—Kisumu City Council or ASK.

Mr Pius Omudho, Prince Indah’s manager, stated that they did not agree with the bar owners on some aspects of organising the event.

He mentioned that they disagreed on matters such as the association setting up the entire stadium, including the stage and shelter tents.

“Since we failed to agree on some issues with bar owners, we organised the event alone, meeting all the requirements, including paying for the grounds, which we did not pay to ASK but to the Kisumu County Government,” said Mr Omudho.

He emphasised that they would proceed with the event as planned.

However, ASK expressed concern, stating that they were only aware of the booking by the Bar and Club Owners Association. They warned that they might close the venue if they suspect any foul play on the part of the organisers.

“We are aware of the association that booked the stadium grounds, and unless they change their minds, they have the rights to the grounds. They have not communicated any emerging issues to us. Should we detect any mischief, we will close the grounds altogether,” cautioned Mr George Ong’udi, Chairman of Kisumu ASK Showground.

He also asserted that ASK is the sole authority for authorising the use of the grounds, not the Kisumu County Government.

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