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Firm accuses City Hall of meddling in Vivo tenancy row

City Hall
City Hall. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Vivo Energy is embroiled in a tenancy dispute with a firm operating a supermarket at its Shell Petrol station in Karen, which has now roped in the Nairobi County Government.

Kenmark Trading, which operates Foodies Supermarket at Shell and BP Karen Spanneright service station, claims that the county’s health directorate issued it a compliance notice last month.

The firm now alleges, in court papers, that the county’s health directorate is advancing the bid by Vivo to kick it out of the premises.

Vivo had earlier issued the firm with vacation notice but it has since been stopped by the rent tribunal.

It has occupied the premises the last 19 years.

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“In a bizarre coincidence, and in furtherance of the interested party’s (Vivo Energy) quest to frustrate the applicant’s possession, the 1st respondent(Nairobi County directorate of health) has served the applicant with a notice to comply dated March 5, 2019, demanding that the applicant rectifies within 14 days… alleged violations,” reads Kenmark Trading’s papers.

The firm now wants the county restrained from proceeding with enforcement of the compliance notice.

City Hall has asked the supermarket to avail approved building plans for verification, provide structural engineers reports on the stability of the structure, improve natural and artificial lighting, replace all dampness on the floor, fix the ceiling and paint the premises.

But the supermarket accuses the county of malice arguing that it has issued it with a licence for the last 19 years and questions motive behind the notice.

The firm says the structural engineer’s reports and building plans are in the custody of Vivo.

Vivo in June last year asked Foodies Supermarket, whose tenancy contract has expired, to vacate the premises to allow it reconstruct afresh following the expansion of Ngong Road that affected its layout.

But the retailer contested the decision at the Business Premises rent tribunal, alleging that it is a protected tenant.

Vivo and the county are yet to respond the suit filed at High Court.

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