Auctioneer gets the nod to sell Tuskys goods over Sh40m rent


A Tuskys outlet in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


  • The retailer was the anchor tenant of the mall since 2015 and had leased the premises for 10 years.

The High Court has allowed an auctioneer to sell assets seized from fallen retail giant Tuskys Supermarket to offset Sh40 million rent arrears due to the owner of Juja City Mall on Thika Road.

Justice Lucy Gacheru lifted temporary orders Tuskys obtained last September blocking the sale. She also dismissed claims by the retailer that Auchland Agencies Auctioneers had blocked it from accessing the building, saying there was no evidence Tuskys was evicted from the premises as alleged.

“The applicant (Tuskys) admits that it has rent arrears but has not provided or tabled evidence in this court to demonstrate how the same will be paid and neither has it provided a schedule of payment. In view of the foregoing, it is upon the applicant to demonstrate full evidence of the outstanding amount, but not by piecemeal evidence that the amount has been partially paid,” said justice Gacheru.

The retailer was the anchor tenant of the mall since 2015 and had leased the premises for 10 years.

The mall through Managing Director James Gachiri told the court that Tuskys had over the years defaulted on rent payments, which necessitated them through their lawyers to issue demands for payment.

Mr Gachiri claimed that Tuskys had taken advantage of its market share to frustrate mall owners.

He said its failure to pay rent on time subjected the mall to risk of a dispute with its financier, Co-operative Bank because the rent proceeds were scheduled to offset a loan.

He further contended that Tuskys cannot be allowed to pay rent at its own will and desire, in breach of the tenancy terms and urged the court to lift the order protecting Tuskys.

Tuskys financial troubles came to light last year when most of its branches started experiencing stock-outs. It blames the downturn on the covid-19 economic fallout and subsequently closed most of the outlets to stem the financial haemorrhage.

The retailer is also subject of an ongoing liquidation petition by Hot Point Appliances Limited over a Sh248 million debt.