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Karumes fail to halt Jacaranda sale

Jacarada Hotel in Nairobi
Jacarada Hotel in Nairobi on July 9, 2019. The hotel has been earmarked for sale to recover a Sh257.6 million loan owed to Guaranty Trust Bank. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The family of former minister Njenga Karume Tuesday lost a court bid to stop a planned auction of Jacaranda Hotel over a Sh283 million bank loan.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany declined to stop the auction but asked the parties to negotiate and reach a settlement.

The Karume family sought court protection after Regent Auctioneers announced it would auction the four-star hotel on January over the loan owed to Guaranty Trust Bank.

The bank and Karume kin will appear before the judge on January 20 as Guaranty Trust Bank maintained that the legality of the auction had not been questioned.

The hotel, which is among the few surviving businesses that the late politician left behind, is in the Westlands suburb, has 128 bedrooms and sits on 3.5 acres of prime land.

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“I have considered the proposal towards resolving the matter. This court is of the view that in the spirit of resolving the matter, the parties continue engaging and the matter be mentioned on January 20,” she said.

The judge, however, stopped the bank from placing any further advertisements that would affect the estate.

The late Karume, a former Defence minister in the then President Mwai Kibaki’s government, died seven years ago, leaving behind multibillion-shilling properties.

The judge also directed the hotel to pay Sh4.5 million to the bank by Friday as part of the repayment of the loan.

- Additional reporting by Edwin Okoth

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