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Sarrai to operate Mumias Sugar as county gets restraining order

By Dominic Omondi - Jan 13th 2022

Mumias Sugar Company main gate [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Kakamega County has been sucked into the saga surrounding the leasing of part of Mumias Sugar Company to a Ugandan firm, adding a new twist to the fight for control of the miller.

The county obtained an order from the High Court in Vihiga on January 11, restraining Tumaz & Tumaz Enterprises Ltd and the miller’s receiver-manager Ponangipalli Rao from interfering with the lease that was awarded to Sarrai Group of Uganda.

Justice William Musyoka gave the restraining orders until the case by Kakamega County is heard and determined on January 25.

“That, pending disposal of the motion or either or further orders of the court, interim conservatory order in rem, is hereby issued restraining the first and second respondents jointly and severally, their agents, or any person acting under their behest or any other person, from terminating, interfering, altering the lease contract between Mumias Sugar Company (In Receivership) and the interested party herein,” he said.

The court also restrained the two from stopping Sarrai’s operations, repair and any other activities at Mumias Sugar.

This is the second injunction in a dramatic turn of events that started with Tumaz, associated with US-based Kakamega businessman Julius Mwale, moving to court to challenge the award of the tender to Sarrai.

Tumaz says the lease was awarded unfairly by the receiver-manager appointed by KCB Group, and that the process was marred by fraud.

The firm, which was one of the companies that lost the bid to lease Mumias, also obtained an injunction on December 29 barring Sarrai from interfering with the assets of the sugar milling company.

On Thursday last week, Tumaz moved to court accusing Sarbjit Rai, the owner of Sarrai Group, manager Rakesh Kumar Bvats and Mr Rao of disobeying the court’s directive.

However, Sarrai, which argues that the injunction came after they had been awarded the lease on December 22, says the restraining orders were on the lease and not the operation of Mumias.

To know how it all started, read https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/business/article/2001432539/sweet-victory-for-ugandan-firm-as-it-clinches-mumias-lease-deal.

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