Taita Taveta County sued over Sh5.5 million rent arrears

Governor Granton Samboja

Taita-Taveta County Government's legal team on Thursday failed to attend to the interpartes hearing in a case a former chief has sued the administration over rent default amounting to millions of shillings.

When the case came up for hearing before the Voi Senior Resident Magistrate Fredrick Nyakundi, Governor Granton Samboja's legal team was absent.

The magistrate fixed a new date of hearing and further direction of the case on July 1st this year.

Voi town based Lawyer Duncan Mwanyumba representing the former Wundanyi Chief Gideon Mwasingo told the court that no report had been given as to why the respondent had failed to attend the inter-parties hearing.

“The county government has failed to attend the interpartes hearing of the case. I have filed a return of service to confirm they have been served with the court orders.

If the respondent fails to attend then the court will give further directions accordingly,” said Lawyer Mwanyumba.
“The county government did not behave like civil people. We have already served them with the return of service to attend the next hearing,” stated the Lawyer.

County Legal Advisor Edwin Chahilu could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Mwasingo has sued the County Government for deliberately refusing to pay rent for his commercial building totaling to over Sh5.5 million.

The county administration which had vacated the premises had hired the retired administrator’s premises in Wundanyi town as offices of the Deputy Governor and other staff.

In the application filed at the Voi Principal Magistrate’s Court Civil Case No of 2020 under a certificate of urgency, Mwasingo demanded the county administration compelled to release unpaid rent arrears and renovation costs of his premises totaling to more than Sh5.5 million.

The amount includes more than Sh4.2 million the sum carried forward, about Sh660,000 rent quarterly for May-July 2020 and over Sh1.6 million being the cost projected to restore the property to its original state as per the building quantities (BQs) prepared by a registered Quantity Surveyor.

Mwasingo claimed the county administration had failed to settle his demands by April, 6th this year and he had no other alternative but to seek immediate legal redress to compel the county administration to settle his dues.
“The county government (defendant) is deliberately refusing and/or to pay me despite receiving adequate funding from the National Treasury.

That, it is highly unconscionable, unfair, undemocratic, and irresponsible for the defendant /respondent not to pay its citizens for goods supplied and/or, services rendered in time.

The defendant has endeavored to arm-twist the plaintiff to accept the handing over of his commercial premise, even before the outstanding debt is settled,” stated Lawyer Mwanyumba for the plaintiff.

In his application, Mwasingo said he had signed a lease agreement with the county administration on December, 22nd 2016 for three years, effective from January, in respect of the said commercial building standing on plot no 1583 together with buildings and improvements.