Nakumatt wins defamation suit against landlord

A former Nakumatt supermarket.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nakumatt Holdings has been cleared of blame in a defamation suit against it by Ideal Locations Limited, the landlord of a space that the collapsed retailer had rented at City Mall, Mombasa.

Nakumatt is currently under administration by Mr Peter Kahi a partner at PKF Consulting and ex-Nakumatt chief executive officer Atul Shah.

In its suit, Ideal Locations Limited had claimed that Nakumatt on March 07, 2018, published false and defamatory words through a media release and on its Twitter (now X) handle.

The statement considered defamatory by the landlord read; “The attention of the Nakumatt Holdings Ltd “Nakumatt” Administration has this afternoon been drawn to a regrettable and highly contemptuous action following the unilateral eviction of Nakumatt Nyali from its operating premises. This action is an absolute contempt of court as Nakumatt is currently under a court-sanctioned Administration.”

The landlord also took issue with a portion of the release by Nakumatt which stated that: “The action by Ideal Locations Limited (the landlord) by any shade or form is draconian and occasions further unnecessary losses to a business already under Administration. I, therefore, take this opportunity to remind all Nakumatt’s creditors of the business status while pointing them to the provisions of the Insolvency Act 2015”

Nakumatt in its statement further cautioned all its creditors that they would be held responsible for damages and contempt of court for any action taken against the company following its eviction by the landlord.

These words, Ideal Locations claimed had brought embarrassment upon it and had cost it a client which had intended to invest Sh200 million but withdrew the offer upon the publication of the statement. The company also admitted that goods were taken from Nakumatt and left on the road.

High Court Judge Kizito Magare, however, dismissed the defamation claims by Ideal Locations Limited saying it failed to prove its case against the collapsed retail chain.

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