NAIROBI, KENYA: The owner of Buzeki Company, Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich, is locked in a fierce legal battle with a company in Mombasa. The company in question is said to have given Buzeki’s company credit to purchase 120 trucks for his transport business.
Bundotich and his co-director Diana Jepchumba Bundotich are in court fighting a move by Synergy Industrial Credit company to repossess 119 trucks after they failed to repay Sh200 million.
Synergy Industrial Credit is a hire and purchase company and deals in, among other businesses, providing facilities for purchase of commercial vehicles, agricultural and industrial machinery.
Before Buzeki sued the credit company in July this year, Synergy had earlier this year instructed an auctioneering company to repossess the trucks it helped Buzeki buy on credit after it breached the agreement.
Buzeki rushed to court and obtained temporary orders stopping the credit company from seizing their vehicles.
Buzeki argued that if the credit company was not restrained from repossessing the vehicles, it would amount to winding up his business which was supporting over 1,000 families.
The company reads mischief in the action by Synergy, which they allege could lead to the winding up of Buzeki Company through the back door,” said Buzeki.
The two directors got a reprieve after Justice Njoki Mwangi temporarily stopped the auctioning of the trucks which had been attached by Leakey Auctioneers. They however acknowledged that they have not paid the arrears that are being demanded.
The judge ruled that: “I have read the application dated July 27, 2018 brought under certificate of urgency. I have also read the affidavit in support of the application. I hereby make the following orders:
“I hereby grant temporary injunction restraining the defendants, whether by itself or its agents, from auctioning, whether by public auction, advertising for sale or leasing....”
Following the orders, Synergy Industrial Credit Company filed their defence and blamed Bundotich of failing to honour agreements on how the arrears should be settled.
“The company’s accounts are in arrears and cheques issued to clear monthly installments are all kept on hold, and have led to substantial arrears as clearly shown in your statements of accounts listed, leaving a total of Sh170,920,893 as at May 31 this year, which continues to accrue charges on daily basis,” stated the company’s representative Jacob Meeme
Meeme notes that Bundotich has had several meetings with their company officials over the stalled payment.
“Despite our meeting after March 10 this year, where you promised you promised to make payment to settle the outstanding debt, no payment has been made to date,” stated Meeme in one of the emails lodged in court as evidence.
But Buzeki’s business manager accused Synergy Industrial Credit of malice.
Wanyonyi says Synergy should not cry foul over failure by Buzeki to pay the amount in time, arguing that they had deposited several title deeds with a value of Sh350 million with credit company.
The title deeds given to Synergy as security include a land at Kandzozo in Kilifi valued at Sh120 million, another one in Eldoret town valued at Sh110 million and a third one in the same town valued at Sh120 million.
He wonders why the credit company was in a hurry to auction the trucks, yet they can still hold on to the titles in case of a breach of contract. Bundotich argues that if the court fails to stop Synergy from auctioning the trucks, he will suffer irreparable harm.
He commits to settling the amount on condition that Synergy establishes the veracity of the repayment of the Sh170 million in question.
Wanyonyi argues that they have enjoyed good business relationship with Synergy since 2007 when the business was doing well.
“Since the company started its business in 2007 after it got credit from Synergy Industrial Credit Company, it has transacted business worth more than Sh500 million.
Wanyonyi says things changed this year when the business started struggling, which in turn made it difficult to service its loans in time.