Naivas Limited has denied that there was a family meeting in 1989 that led to its establishment as alleged by a man claiming a 20 per cent shareholding of the supermarket chain.
Newton Kagira has told a Nakuru court that he was part of the said meeting, reportedly called by the supermarket's founder Peter Kago at his home in Cherangani, Kitale, during which contributions were made to establish the company.
Naivas said no follow-up contributions were made by five family members, including Kagira, to start a business, insisting that the alleged meeting, during the Christmas holiday, never happened.
Kagira has sued Naivas over 20 per cent shares of the company.
According to Naivas, Rongai Self Service Stores, which grew to become Naivas, was a limited liability company, and Charles Mukuha and David Kimani were directors and shareholders.
The retail chain states that the self-service store has never been a family business as claimed by Kagira.
“Mukuha and Kimani were the directors of the self-help stores, and on June 15, 1998, they incorporated Naivasha Self Service Stores, which was later renamed Naivas Limited on August 14, 2007,” Naivas told the court.
It states that Kagira has no stake in the family business since he never helped start it, and he is neither a beneficiary nor a shareholder.
Naivas accuses Kagira of filing a case that is time-barred since the cause of action from the pleadings dates back to June 15, 1998.
“The plaintiff (Kagira) only moved to court in November 2013, which is 15 years since the incorporation of the company happened,” Naivas argues.
Naivas submits that the case is a waste of the court's time as similar issues were resolved in a succession case 92 of 2011, where the court ruled that Kagira had no interest in the company.
Kagira had claimed their father Kago called a family meeting in December 1989, which he allegedly attended, alongside Kago, Kimani, Grace Wambui, Linet Wairimu, Robert Njau and Simon Gashwe (Mukuha’s deceased father), when the family allegedly discussed and agreed to start the business.
“Kimani contributed Sh10, 000, Kago Sh30, 000, Wambui Sh25, 000, Kagira Sh20,000, and Wairimu gave Sh15,000, totalling Sh100,000,” Kagira’s court documents read.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
He added that the family agreed that each individual’s contribution shall form the basis of shareholding in the business.
However, he stated that the family members sidelined him and denounced him as a shareholder, despite contributing 20 per cent of the shares.
Kagira said he received credible information that the company, through its directors and shareholders, was in the process of selling its shares, including his.
He stated that if the sale of shares and distribution of dividends were allowed to proceed, he would suffer and lose his initial investment and subsequent dividends.