NCBA loses bid to strike out Sh94m insolvency case against Buzeki

NCBA premises in Upper Hill, Nairobi. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

The High Court has dismissed an attempt by NCBA Bank to strike out an insolvency case against Buzeki Enterprises Ltd by Bhachu Industries on grounds that the Sh94 million debt being sought by a trailer manufacturer was not clear

The lender is seeking over Sh1.3 billion from the firm associated with politician Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich and wanted the suit filed by Bhachu Industries Ltd struck out, arguing that it would be against the law to try and liquidate the firm over an unclear debt.

The bank argued that the case should have been filed in Mombasa where Buzeki has offices and the case was brought to defeat its pursuit of its debt.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany, however, said striking out a case is such a drastic action, which should be used sparingly. The judge also said the contract between Buzeki and Bhachu was drawn and executed in Nairobi and the trailer manufacturer did not err in filing the case in Nairobi.

“I, therefore, find that this court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the petition,” the judge said. Bhachu Industries filed the petition to liquidate Buzeki two years ago saying the politician’s firm has been unable to pay its debt.

The firm’s director Davinder Bhachu revealed that Buzeki purchased several tippers in 2011 and the company paid for them through cheques which bounced.

He said he chose to file the case in Nairobi because he has offices in the capital's Industrial Area and the tippers were delivered to Buzeki’s agents in the city. Mr Bhachu further said he is at liberty to choose the suitable place to file the case.

NCBA on its part is demanding more than Sh1 billion from Buzeki for a loan used to finance purchase of 289 trucks and 141 trailers between 2006 and 2016.

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