Ahmed Kalebi, the former CEO of Lancet Kenya, is seeking 3.6bn from his former French and South African partners.
Dr. Kalebi is demanding compensation as the founding shareholder of the company, including sweat equity as the founder of the company, for spending his time, labor, and money, as well as helping the firm expand in the region.
During the court hearing on Tuesday, Dr. Kalebi told Justice Chacha Mwita that his former partners rejected his claim for sweat compensation, yet Lancet was only present in three countries in Africa, including South Africa, when it started operations, but it had expanded to 13 when he left the firm in April 2021.
Dr. Kalebi, who helped establish the firm in 2009, has sued the Kenyan firm and shareholders, French firm Cebra Healthcare, and Lancet Service Company of South Africa.
The company, in reply, said that all their investment decisions were informed by the direction and vision of the respective boards of directors and not by Dr. Kalebi alone.
The company also said that Dr. Kalebi's shareholding was voluntarily transferred sometime in 2016 "on an arm’s length basis, for the full value, the consideration of which was duly paid" to the former CEO.
Lancet has said that the former partners owed no obligation to compensate Dr. Kalebi as the founder and local founding shareholder, as the alleged roles he is quoting do not exist under the contract signed between the parties.
His former partners also revealed that Dr. Kalebi was allotted a 20 percent stake for free with no obligation for him to contribute any cash for the stake or start-up costs.
Dr. Kalebi's terms were negotiated and agreed upon with the company, and there were no additional representations made by the former CEO regarding his remuneration beyond what was provided for in the contracts.
The company also said dividends were subject to resolution by the board of directors and approval at the members' general meeting.
The company's argument is that there was no agreement that Dr. Kalebi would be compensated based on development, enhancement, protection, and exploitation (DEMPE) functions.
When he left the firm in 2021, the former partners employed nine people to take up his positions, including a new managing director, a chief consultant pathologist, three other pathologists, a chief operations officer, and a marketing agency.
Dr. Kalebi played three roles as the managing director, shareholder, and chief consultant pathologist, according to his testimony in court.
The case sets the stage for one of Kenya's largest executive payouts.
The court has not yet made a ruling on the case.