Nakumatt threatened with closure over Sh27 mn arrears

Empty shelves at a Nakumatt store in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Empty shelves at a Nakumatt store in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A landlord in Mombasa has taken Nakumatt to court over alleged non-payment of rent and service charge amounting to Sh26.6 million.

Ideal Locations Ltd, the retailer's landlord at City Mall building in the coastal city, wants Nakumatt to immediately vacate its premises no later than seven days from when the order is issued.

Through lawyer Willis Oluga, Ideal Locations Ltd says it wants the troubled firm to pay all its accrued debts upon exit from the property.

Mr Oluga claims that Nakumatt has on numerous occasions deliberately defaulted to pay rent, service charge and promotion fund when it falls due.

He says that in the instances the retailer has made payments, it has done so later than the agreed date of 7th every month.

Mr Oluga argues that according to a lease agreement, failure to pay rent amounts to a breach and gives the plaintiff right to repossess the premises.

“All the events have occurred hence the defendant has breached the lease agreement and continues with such breach,” the suit papers state in part.

Ideal Locations Ltd further argues that Nakumatt has materially changed the nature or mode of conduct of its trading by entering into or pursuing a merger or a trading partnership with rival Tuskys.

Lose property to bank

The landlord says it has a Sh545 million loan from Prime Bank which it used to secure the suit property and that the rent received from the retail chain is assigned to the bank as a way of servicing the facility.

Mr Oluga says that non or erratic payment of rent by Nakumatt has subjected the company to an imminent danger of losing the property as the lender could foreclose and exercise its statutory power of sale.

“The defendant should vacate the suit premises to enable the plaintiff lease out the same to another tenant who is willing and capable of making regular payments,” the suit papers further state.

The company says if it is not permitted to take possession of the premises, it will lose it to Prime Bank which could elect to sell it to recover the loan.

Ideal Location Ltd says that despite its demand that Nakumatt makes due payments and vacates the premises, the supermarket has declined to leave.