ACCUSED OF FIGHTING LEASE

West Kenya dragged into Mumias Sugar legal battles

Gakwamba Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd accused them of fighting the lease.

In Summary

• Gakwamba Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd has accused West Kenya of using their society to fight the lease because it lost the tender.

• The main purpose of the petition is to interfere with the revival of operations of the Mumias sugar by rival company West Kenya Sugar and for this purpose, we do not intend to proceed with the matter.

West Kenya Sugar Mill has been dragged into the ongoing legal battles in court relating to the leasing of Mumias Sugar to Ugandan firm Sarrai Group. https://bit.ly/3FNWzEG

Lawyer Danstan Omari addresses journalists on Mumias Sugar company lease case at Milimani Courts on January 14, 2022.
Lawyer Danstan Omari addresses journalists on Mumias Sugar company lease case at Milimani Courts on January 14, 2022.
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

West Kenya Sugar Mill has been dragged into the ongoing legal battles in court relating to the leasing of Mumias Sugar to Ugandan firm Sarrai Group.

In an affidavit filed in court, Gakwamba Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd has accused West Kenya of using their society to fight the lease because it lost the tender.

“West Kenya is using the name of our society to defeat the rights of the debenture holders unprofessionally and unethically,” reads court papers.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, they claim that they are not farmers to Mumias Sugar and don’t know anything about the suit filed in court neither do they have minutes passing any resolution to institute any suit as is their norm.

“We did not authorize the firm of Kibe Mungai to represent us in this matter or any other. There was no resolution passed either authorizing them to render their legal services,” the farmers claim.

Through their manager Henry Ojude, the farmers claim that Charles Ochieng did not have any authorization to swear an affidavit on their behalf.

“We are aware that the firm of Kibe Mungai represents the interest of Jaswani Rai who is the director of West Kenya co which also bid in the same tender and is only using our society with an ill motive and in an ethical and unprofessional manner to file suit to benefit from the leasing of Mumias Sugar,” reads court papers.

The main purpose of the petition is to interfere with the revival of operations of the Mumias sugar by rival company West Kenya Sugar and for this purpose, we do not intend to proceed with the matter.

He says that the application seeking to stop the lease of Mumias Sugar is an abuse of the court process and should be dismissed with costs.

“The purported plaintiffs do not have the locus to challenge the bid process in which they were not a party and they are just being used as busybodies by one of the parties that lost the bid to frustrate the operations of Mumias Sugar Company,” reads court papers.

Gakwamba says their interest is to see the revival of the sugar industry.

“We want Mumias to resume its operations as soon as possible as its operations shall improve the living standards of the residents and we stand to gain nothing in faulting of bidding of Mumias Sugar,” they said.

Ojude says they want to see a vibrant sugar industry and do not have any interest in the bidding of running of Mumias Sugar Company.

“We believe that any challenge to the process of leasing the assets of Mumias Sugar is only valid if it’s brought before the insolvency court because it’s the court that is supervising the entire receivership and administration of the company,” he said.

The society said the proxies cannot give evidence of commission or omission in a process where they were not a party unless they were being used as proxies of a party that most likely lost in the tendering process.

“There are no particulars that have been provided by the plaintiffs in support of their allegations that leasing some of the assets of Mumias was unlawful and fraudulent,” he said.

Ojude said that it is not in the interest of Justice to entertain an application by individuals who did not participate in the bidding process whose sole aim is to frustrate the political and commercial goodwill to turn around a mill to profitability through modernization and efficient management.


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