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Economy

Uhuru kin opposes police eviction bid in loan default case

President Uhuru Kenyatta's cousin, Ngengi Muigai. PHOTO | FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta's cousin, Ngengi Muigai. PHOTO | FILE 

A kin of President Uhuru Kenyatta has filed a case opposing the use of police to help a company to evict him from his prime coffee estate over a disputed Sh70 million bank loan.

Ngengi Muigai, through his company Muiri Coffee Estate Limited in Thika, Kiambu County, told High Court judge Grace Nzioka that the move by Bidii Kenya Limited to use police to gain entry into his property is unconstitutional and unlawful.

Mr Muigai’s estate argues in court that KCB Group, which sold the 443-acre coffee estate to Bidii in 2007, knows that the Sh70 million loan it demanded from Benjoh Amalgamated Limited — Mr Muigai’s company — is in dispute.

Muiri Coffee Estate had in 1989 secured a bank guarantee of Sh11.5 million to enable KCB release the loan applied by Benjoh Amalgamated.

The amount which KCB Group released to Benjoh and the payable amount are in dispute.

Mr Muigai is opposing a case filed by Bidii to have the Kiambu County police commander arrested and jailed for six months for failing to “assist and supervise the eviction of Muiri from its property”.

Justice Nzioka was told that the Attorney- General, who is defending the police, has not been served with the case filed by lawyer Mansur Muathe Issa for Bidii.

The judge heard that the police have declined to help Bidii to enter the farm it purchased from KCB after Benjoh and Muiri failed to pay the loan.

Mr Muigai presented Justice Nzioka with a judgment delivered in 2009 by a former judge, the late Justice Joyce Khaminwa, who established that KCB Group did not have a proper statement of account of Benjoh Amalgamated. Justice Khaminwa established that the lender “manufactured a statement of account in respect of Benjoh”.

A bank witness, Mr Chris Theuri, admitted under oath that the bank had lost documents in relation to the account of Benjoh and a true bank statement regarding that account could not be stated.

KCB Group sent a notice to Benjoh to pay Sh70 million as the outstanding loan.

Benjoh had been guaranteed Sh11.5 million only by Muiri when it applied for the loan in 1989 to finance a flower farming project in Nyandarua.

In 2008, the lender required Benjoh to pay it Sh168,065,347.80.

The company says its property could not therefore be sold given the discrepancies in the amount owed and now asks the court to declare null and void the sale of the coffee estate.

Mr Muigai’s company is also asking the court to restrain Bidii or its agents from encroaching onto its property.

Muiri wants the court to declare that KCB’s remedy and/or recourse is against the defaulting company, Benjoh Amalgamated Ltd.

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