Court reverses Mumias lease freeze order in new twist

Mumias Sugar Company main gate [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The High Court on Wednesday reversed orders restraining Tumaz & Tumaz Enterprises Ltd and KCB Group-appointed receiver-manager Ponangipalli Rao from interfering with the Mumias Sugar lease to Sarrai Group of Uganda.

The Vihiga High Court had on Tuesday given an injunction in favour of the Kakamega County Government, barring it and Tumaz from interfering with the lease pending hearing and determination of the case on January 25.

But while reversing the order, Justice William Musyoka noted that the Kakamega County government failed to disclose that Tumaz had already received orders from the Milimani High Court on December 29, 2021 suspending the Mumias lease to Sarrai. Justice Musyoka noted that Kakamega County had not presented the injunction that had been issued to Tumaz by the High Court in Nairobi on December 29.

“The order of 29/12/21 should have been disclosed by the applicant (County), and since it cannot be possibly in operation at the same time with the order that I made herein on 11/1/22, and being the first in time and to avoid a scenario of conflicting orders, I hereby vacate and discharge the order of 11/1/2022,” he said.

On January 11, Kakamega County had obtained an order from the High Court in Vihiga  

Tumaz, which is associated with US-based Kakamega businessman Julius Mwale, moved to court to challenge the award of the tender to Sarrai, noting that the lease was awarded unfairly by the receiver-manager appointed by KCB Group. It also argued that the tender process was marred with fraud.

The firm had also obtained an injunction barring Sarrai from interfering with the assets of the miller.

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