Appeal: Nakumatt eviction case flops

Goods outside Nakumatt Supermarket, Nyali when the retailer was evicted over rent arrears in 2018. [File, Standard]

Nakumatt Supermarket has suffered another blow after the Court of Appeal in Malindi dismissed an appeal challenging its eviction from a Mombasa mall over Sh27 million rent arrears.

Justices Daniel Musinga, Kairu Gatemu and Agnes Murgor upheld Environment and Lands Court Judge Charles Yano’s ruling, allowing Ideal Location Ltd to evict the struggling retailer from its premises at the Nyali City Mall.

“The result of the foregoing is that this appeal fails and is hereby dismissed with costs to the respondents,” said Justice Murgor. Justice Yano had found Nakumatt in breach of a sub-lease agreement dated June 14, 2009 with Ideal Location.

The judge said the retailer had accrued rent arrears amounting to Sh27.8 million as of November 1, 2017. Nakumatt, through their lawyer D Ngonze, had said in their petition filed in July this year that the Environment and Lands Court had no mandate to hear cases of such magnitude and that the case should have been heard by the High Court.

But the appellate judges said Justice Yano had the jurisdiction to hear the dispute. Nakumatt has faced financial woes, with debts of more than Sh36 billion forcing it to close many branches in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania within 18 months.

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