Nakumatt moves to court to stop eviction

Iseme, Kamau and Maema Advocates, who represent Nakumatt, are seeking to withdraw on grounds that ...

Nakumatt Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah now wants court to stop landlords from evicting it from their premises.

In his argument, Shah says it is necessary for Nakumatt to be given a chance to negotiate fresh terms with financial institutions and repayment with its creditors further attributing part of its problems to the year old Banking (Amendment) Act which put a cap on interest rates.

According to Shah, the enactment of the law severely restricted the supermarket’s ability to access key short to medium terms financing that it relied upon to meet its obligations to its creditors.

The Nakumatt boss further says that negotiations with the financial institutions have unfortunately taken longer than anticipated but Nakumatt has made a lot of efforts to recapitalize the business so as to overcome the current financial situation.

Shah wants the creditors stopped because they have violated the August 28, court order as well as the provisions of the Insolvency Act.

“I believe the November 16, ruling did not vacate the earlier orders issued on August 28, restraining any acts of attachment, sequestration, distress or execution against Nakumatt and its assets,” reads Shah’s affidavit

He added that Sabaki and SouthCoast, have completely denied Nakumatt access to the premises and as such , there is a high likelihood that if the premises are not re-opened, perishable goods contained in them such as vegetables, dairy products, meet products, bread and juices will get spoilt which may contaminate all other goods in the store.

“If the premises are not re-opened, Nakumatt’s efforts to restructure and refinance its business will be frustrated. Nakumatt is currently engaged in discussions with financiers designed to recapitalize its business and thereby enable it meet all its outstanding obligations,” reads court papers.

Sabaki River Holdings Ltd, and SouthCoast Holdings Ltd, through their lawyer Philip Mwoka Sultan Khimji have opposed the application saying that Nakumatt is a tenant at the two premises and has defaulted on the terms of the lease.

Nakumatt owes 26,140,692 Shillings and 6,777,476 Shillings to the two firms, respectively, in rent arrears.

The case will be heard on December 4.

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