No organisation can sell or market any goods or services under the name “Kabarak” without the express permission of retired President Daniel arap Moi, after he was granted exclusive rights by a government agency.
The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (Kipi) has issued a trademark to the former President after an application by his lawyer, Mr Tom Ojienda.
A trademark is a distinctive sign used by a business to identify its goods or services and to distinguish them from those produced or provided by others.
Registration of a trademark protects the trademark owner against misuse, imitation or dilution through use in unrelated goods or services.
Kabarak, which in Kalenjin means high or elevated, is in Rongai constituency in Nakuru. The area MP is Mr Raymond Moi, the former President’s son. The former President owns Kabarak High School, university and farms in the region.
Opinion leaders, human rights activists and non-governmental organisations in Nakuru town expressed mixed reactions to the development. They said the move by Kenya Intellectual Property Institute to grant Mr Moi the trademark was “absurd and an insult to the Kalenjin community as a whole”.
“This is a common Kalenjin word and should not be owned by an individual,” said Mr Vincent Tanui, a human rights crusader in Nakuru town. However, Mr Joshua Toroitich said there was nothing wrong with the former President using the name as his trademark.
“The former President was born in Sacho in a village called Kabarak. Patenting the name will distinguish him from other Kenyans,” said the Nakuru County Kanu chairman.