Aviation college proprietor loses bid for Sh31 million damages

Bishop Peter Manyuru. [Phillip Orwa, Standard]

Nairobi Aviation College proprietor Peter Manyuru has lost the bid for Sh31 million in damages and a deposit refund from the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation.

Manyuru had sued the corporation seeking damages over eviction from Uchumi house premises in 2011.

In the case filed at Milimani court, he said that he had leased five floors of the building for 72 months between March 15, 2003 and June 1, 2005.

Manyuru who is also the founder and the bishop of Jesus Teaching Ministries, told the court the corporation that later transitioned to Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) gave his college an additional floor and renewed the lease for another 63 months.

Justice Christine Meoli said that Manyuru did not prove his claim for damages and refund of the rent deposit.

“He cannot benefit from an award of general damages for pain, anguish and suffering caused to the college during eviction, which category of damages appears novel, in any event. Nor special damages in the sum of Sh31,311,270, which were not proved, in any event,” said Justice Meoli.

The bishop requested a one-year extension of the lease on March 8, 2011, in writing but the corporation threatened to kick him out of the premises.

He said that he filed a dispute at the Business Premises Rent Tribunal (BPRT) obtaining orders on November 11, 2011 and served them on November 15.

Despite the order, the institution was kicked out and Manyuru alleged that it suffered damages and loss of property.

In the case, KDC alleged that the eviction was in line with a court order that they had secured from the High Court to kick out Manyuru on December 6.

The bishop told the High Court that he was kicked out of the premises despite paying rent for the months of December 2011 and January 2012.

Manyuru said that they lost financial and student records and equipment during the eviction as well as business and property.

He further told the court that the students were greatly affected by the eviction as they could not sit their respective examinations.

The bishop alleged that he was given a four-month notice to move out instead of the agreed six months in the lease.

Manyuru claimed that during eviction goons descended on the premises at night and destroyed some items.

He denied knowledge of the eviction order that the corporation said they had secured and used to kick him out.

KDC’s Assistant Administration Manager Paul Aloo testified that they wrote to Manyuru in February 2011 indicating the non-renewal of the lease.

Aloo said that they declined the bishop’s appeal on three occasions between March and August 2011 and sent him reminders on the same.

He told the court that Manyuru chose to file a case with BPRT but the matter was resolved that he should vacate the premises by December 1, 2011.

Aloo said that failure to vacate led to the eviction and KDC had not taken an inventory of the items at the premises and was therefore not aware of the loss or damage.

On Manyuru’s claim to be refunded the Sh2 million deposit, he said that according to the lease, the deposit would be used to restore the premises and KDC spent more than Sh6 million on restoration.

Justice Meoli faulted KDC for not following the procedure in using the Sh6 million adding that they did not table any evidence to support the expenditure.

Aloo told court that when auctioneers arrived at the premises Manyuru mobilised staff and students to remove the equipment.

According to their lawyer, Manyuru was not entitled to any damages since he opted to have the students help cart away property before KDC could carry out the eviction.

This, the lawyer said showed that the bishop took responsibility of the process.

Justice Meoli noted that the request for lease renewal was done after the deadline had passed and the renewal was not automatic.

The Judge noted that when Manyuru filed his case on December 8, 2011, at the Commercial Division Justice David Musinga transferred it to the Civil Division.

By the time Justice John Mwera was hearing the matter, the eviction had already happened and at the same time, KDC got orders from Justice Mohamed Warsame to kick Manyuru out.

She faulted Manyuru for abusing the court process since he filed cases at the BPRT and the High Court over the same issue involving the same parties since he had also recorded consent in the case by KDC seeking to kick him out.

Justice Meoli found that the orders issued by Justice Warsame were binding upon all parties and KDC was therefore entitled to kick Manyuru out of the premises.

She said that the orders that the bishop obtained from the High Court and BPRT were to no avail.

“The court’s considered finding is that the plaintiff was lawfully evicted as a consequence firstly, of a lawful refusal by the defendant to renew the lease and, pursuant to his default in respect of the consent order,” said Justice Meoli.

The Judge directed KDC to furnish Manyuru with the full statement of accounts on the amounts used in restoration and pay him the balance if any.