Nakumatt’ former landlord appeals decision to deposit Sh20 million as security over illegal eviction

Nakumatt’s former landlord, South Coast Holdings want the Court of Appeal in Mombasa to overturn a High Court decision ordering them to deposit Sh20 million as security for damages incurred over illegal and unlawful eviction of the retailer.

In November last year, Lady Justice Ann Amollo directed that the landlord deposits Sh20 million in an escrow account to be opened by both Nakumatt and the landlord’s advocates.

“The South Coast Holding (landlord) to deposit Sh20 million and the said sum, which is to be treated as security in the event the application succeeds within 21 days,” said Justice Amollo.

Nakumatt Director Ankoor Shah had through their lawyer D. Ngonze accused the landlord of illegally and unlawfully locking out customers from accessing the premises in Diani on the account of unspecified rental arrears.

South Coast Holdings’ lawyer Kamunde Kinyua in his defence argued that Justice Amollo had no jurisdiction over the matter, adding that her orders were unreasonable, oppressive and should be set aside.

He also wants the appellate court to order the case to be heard before a different judge. Kinyua said Nakumatt had not filed an application for security and the judge had no powers or jurisdiction to grant an order that none of the parties had sought.

Mr Kinyua noted that Nakumatt owes South Coast Holding Sh29.5 million in rent arrears and service charges, repair and redecoration, and reinstatement cost and damages for lost rent from the date of termination of the lease, adding that even if Nakumatt was to sell its business model of Sh7 billion it will still have a debt in excess of Sh22 billion.

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However, Ngonze said the landlord refused to honour the court order, arguing that Justice Amollo had exercised her discretion in line with the principals of security for cost and cost against a party occasioning adjournment.

Ngonze argued that the supermarket had suffered a loss of the business model to a tune of Sh 7 billion as of November 17, 2017.

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