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Man's bankruptcy bid in Sh8m debt row rejected

bankrupt
Teolahus Mutuku Ngenga moved to court in March 2017 seeking to be declared bankrupt. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A businessman’s quest to be declared bankrupt has been rejected by a judge who said it was premature to grant him the order because there was nothing to support his claims.

Consequently, Justice Margaret Muigai ordered Mr Teolahus Mutuku Ngega to undertake a public examination under the official receiver and meeting with his creditors first.

She ordered a report with a recommendation to be filed in court within 60 days, where she will determine the final orders.

“From the above issues that remain unproven, this court finds that at this stage it is not satisfied from evidence on record it is sufficient to declare the applicant bankrupt,” said Justice Muigai.

Mr Ngenga, a businessman from Makindu in Makueni, moved to court in March 2017 seeking to be declared bankrupt. He said his total debts stood at Sh8.8 million.

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He filed an affidavit listing those he owes including Sidian Bank (Sh2 million), Kenya Women Trust Fund (Sh507,000), Masaku Trade Development Joint Board (Sh700,000), Ikala Ukyenye Group (Sh1.7 million), Noel Mukeli Muthoka (Sh1.4 million) and Muema Ndungi (Sh2.5 million).

He said he operated a cereals and timber business but a partner he named as Janet Mueni, who had promised to import timber and share the profits, disappeared with his Sh11 million.

He said efforts to trace her have been futile and since then he has been unable to repay his debts.

Mr Ngega said he borrowed the money from the creditors who are now after him. The businessman claimed that he reported the matter to Makindu Police Station.

The judge, however, said he did not produce any evidence of the report, for example, the OB extract.

Mr Ngega also claimed that his motor vehicle, which Britam Insurance Company had covered, was involved in an accident and written-off.

However, he did not produce a police abstract to prove the claims, according to the judge.

Sidian Bank said in reply opposed the application arguing that the man claimed he conducted business with Ms Mueni for six years yet he did not produce any document, photo, agreement, receipt to indicate her existence.

The bank added that it was not plausible in a business relationship of six years no trace of any document is available to establish the existence of a business partner and or the partnership itself in form of banking documents, purchases of products or materials, or even agreements.

Sidian Bank also argued that the man runs a grocery shop in Makindu town known as Kasweswe Logistics Group of Companies with assets valued at Sh1.5 million.

The bank said Mr Ngenga was in a position to pay his debts and he did not file the petition in good faith.

While rejecting the application, Justice Muigai said the businessman has not shown any document to confirm his indebtedness or to demonstrate the level of indebtedness.

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