The Omuthiya Town Council has been accused of stealing the Othithiya Festival concept, allegedly pitched to it in 2019.
In a letter directed to the town council by Samuel Shinedima’s lawyer Salomon Kanyemba on Wednesday, the former claims the idea behind the Othithiya Festival and career fair belongs to him.
Othithiya is a natural spring found outside Omuthiya.
Shinedima wants the town council not to go ahead with nor promote the festival, which is scheduled to take place from 28 to 31 July. Failure of the town to comply within 14 days, he plans on taking the matter to court.
He claims that in 2019, he wrote a letter to the town’s spokesperson Piet Andreki, requesting an appointment in order to pitch his business idea on youth empowerment and development.
He met with the management committee on 16 July 2019. He then presented by giving illustrative visuals, statistics, and figures on the project’s strategic plans, operations, and budgeting.
During the meeting, he allegedly revealed the name of the project as “Othithiya Festival 2020” under the theme ‘Creating Every Opportunity’.
“Upon the end of our client’s presentation, which was to the satisfaction of the management committee, our client requested the council and all persons present at the presentation to sign a non-disclosure agreement – which the council objected that such will only be done upon approval of the project,” reads the letter.
In August, Shinedima allegedly followed up with the council by writing several emails to Andreki, to which he was informed that the council has not yet deliberated on his proposal.
“It was to our client’s dismay to notice a social media page “Othithiya_Othithiya_Festival”. It was after our client’s investigations that he discovered that the above-mentioned page was linked to Omuthiya Town Council,” says Kanyemba.
In addition, the correspondences on the posters are that of Andreki – who was the direct link between Shinedima and the town council.
“It is hereby evident from the above that the Omuthiya Town Council has acted in a self-serving and rapacious manner, without affording our client his well-entitled right to a fair predetermination of his proposal,” noted Kanyemba.
In response to the allegations, Omuthiya Town Council’s spokesperson Ottilie Shingenge said they have received Shinedima’s letter but the council is yet to deliberate on it.
“There is no formal response at the moment but we will issue a statement once council has discussed the matter,” said Shingenge.