Nakumatt says not aware of ruling on building


The Hazina Trade Centre in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

The public pensions provider is free to resume construction of the stalled 36-storey Hazina Trade Centre after the High Court dismissed an injunction secured by Nakumatt Supermarkets, MPs heard yesterday.

The High Court on Monday discharged an injunction against National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and its contractors from developing the building, which Nakumatt holdings had used to block the erection of more floors.

Nakumatt moved to court to block its landlord, the NSSF, from putting up the building citing loss of business and exposure of public within the premises and its environs.

 “The ruling was that there was an injunction against NSSF and its contractors from developing the building which has been discharged. Therefore, the NSSF and the contractors are now free to proceed with construction as they deem fit pending determination of the substantive case,” Public Investments Committee (PIC) chairman Adan Keynan told Mr Atul Shah, the Nakumatt Holdings chief executive and his lawyer Manase Mwangi who both said they were unaware of the existence of the court ruling.

Mr Keynan expressed surprise that Mr Mwangi did not have information that the court had discharged an injunction granted to Nakumatt in the case filed in 2014.

“It is surprising that you are not aware that there was a ruling on this case when you are the lawyer on record for Nakumatt.

“The current Judiciary posts decisions after delivering their judgment. Unless your lawyer has applied for typed proceedings and not judgment, then that could explain why he has not received copies of the judgment,” Mr Keynan told Mr Shah.

Mr Shah, who had been given ultimatum to appear before PIC yesterday to respond to issues raised by the NSSF following a dispute over the construction of Hazina Trade Centre, told the committee that his lawyer was not notified of the date of delivery of the judgment.

“I am informed by my lawyer that he was not notified of the date of the court decision. He has written to get certified copies but there has not been a response to date,” Mr Shah said.

Mr Keynan, who barred Mr Shah’s lawyer from addressing the committee after finding him to be in contempt of Parliament, accused the Nakumatt Supermarkets chain boss and his advocates of failing to disclose the latest development in court.

“I note with concern that there was a major decision by the court that was pronounced last week which you are not willing to share with this committee. Whether it is in your favour or not you have to share it with the representatives of the people. You ought to have made it public,” said Mr Keynan.