Economy

City office block judges snubbed set for auction

court-appeal

Elgon Place in Upper Hill. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The forced sale of the building on Elgon Road at the junction of Upper Hill road has been scheduled for December 10, according to notice by Phillips International Auctioneers.
  • Insiders at Phillips International Auctioneers linked the sale to a breach of contract and an alleged debt owed by the owner of the building — Sealink Holdings Limited — to a bank.

Elgon Place, the building that the Judiciary rejected on grounds it emits radioactive material, has now been put up for public auction, making it the latest high profile property to go under the hammer due to debt.

The forced sale of the building on Elgon Road at the junction of Upper Hill road has been scheduled for December 10, according to notice by Phillips International Auctioneers.

Insiders at Phillips International Auctioneers linked the sale to a breach of contract and an alleged debt owed by the owner of the building — Sealink Holdings Limited — to a bank.

The seven-storey building, which occupies 0.26 hectares, in Upper Hill has a basement floor comprising parking lots and holding cells.

The building had been leased to the Judiciary, which partitioned the judge’s chambers, offices and six courtrooms, among others. Its occupancy has remained controversial since 2013 after the Judiciary spent a Sh70 million to hire offices that judges never used.

Court of Appeal argued that the office block was emitting radioactive material, which could a health hazard.

“The building will be up for auction next month. The owners breached some contracts with the bank,” said a representative from Phillips International Auctioneers yesterday.

The Judiciary had partitioned the seven-storey building to house 16 judge chambers, offices and six courtrooms.

The then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Paul Kihara (now Attorney-General) in a memo dated September 11, 2013, told all appellate judges to move to Elgon Place not later than September 17, 2013.

However, the judges declined. Besides the health claims, the building was also mired in controversy about its lease terms.

The documents tabled before Parliament show that the tender committee approved the award to Knight Frank (K) Ltd, agents of Sealink Holdings Ltd, the owners of the building, for the lease of 34,400 square feet at a monthly charge of Sh4,204,638, translating to an annual rent of Sh50,455,667.

Court of Appeal judges remain housed at the Supreme Court although the Judiciary promised to move them to a new building, which sources said would be in Milimani.