Counties

MP Rigathi Gachagua barred from selling apartment in Sh21m debt row

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Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The High Court has barred Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua from charging or transferring an apartment in Nairobi West, pending the resolution of a debt dispute between his firm and Chinese company.
  • Justice David Majanja noted that although the ownership of the multimillion-shilling property was disputed, a copy of the title shows that Mr Gachagua’s company- Tripple Eight Construction Company Ltd- is the registered proprietor of the apartment.

The High Court has barred Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua from charging or transferring an apartment in Nairobi West, pending the resolution of a debt dispute between his firm and Chinese company.

Justice David Majanja noted that although the ownership of the multimillion-shilling property was disputed, a copy of the title shows that Mr Gachagua’s company- Tripple Eight Construction Company Ltd- is the registered proprietor of the apartment.

“I do not see any reason why the Judgment Creditor (China Petroleum) should be denied the fruits of its judgment by the issue of a prohibitory order.

Since the subject property is unencumbered, a party prejudiced by attachment is entitled to apply for interim order of relief in the pending case,” the judge said.

The Chinese company, through lawyer Gichuki King’ara moved to court arguing that it won a case against Tripple Eight Construction Company in 2013 and was awarded Sh10,763,544.

Mr King’ara said the amount has since increased to Sh21,312,616 and because Tripple Eight is yet to pay the amount, the Chinese company should be allowed to attach the apartment in Nairobi West’s Kisauni Road.

In reply, Mr Gachagua said the apartment was subject to another case pending before the High Court and that Mr King’ara was aware of the case because he is a signatory to an account where rent collected from the apartment is deposited.

He argued that the case was brought in bad faith. But Mr King’ara contended that the property is the only property owned by Tripple Eight and the Chinese company only seeks to protect it, pending the conclusion of the case.

Justice Majanja said a party to which a debt is owed has “the right to select the mode of execution it deems fit and cannot be directed to forebear execution merely because an alternative mode is preferred by the debtor”.