Blow to Kakamega County, Sarrai Group as court declines to issue fresh orders in Mumias lease case
The High Court has declined to vacate orders it issued on January 11 in regard to a suit filed by Kakamega County to stop KCB receiver-manager PVR Rao and Tumaz and Tumaz Enterprises from interfering with Mumias lease.
In a ruling on Wednesday, High Court judge Justice William Musyoka stated that from the documents before the court, he did not find sufficient cause to issue orders sought by the plaintiff (Kakamega County) because the issue of conflicting orders was alive.
Justice Musyoka further directed that all parties in the case submit their documents to the court and that the applications and preliminary objections by the lawyers representing both sides be heard together.
Lawyers Javier Munzala and Maureen Nasimiyu are presenting Tumaz in the lease case while James Orengo, Wesley Gichaba and Irene Kashindi are appearing for Kakamega County, Sarrai Group and RAO respectively.
The matter will be heard in Kakamega High Court on January 28.
Justice Musyoka on January 12 ruled that the county failed to disclose that Tumaz had already received orders from Milimani High Court on December 29, 2021, suspending the Mumias lease to the Ugandan firm Sarrai Group, and that no other orders can be issued contradicting lease suspension say orders issued to Tumaz in Nairobi.
"Order of stay in Nairobi HCJR/E178/2021 was not exhibited to the motion herein dated 7/1/22 when it was placed before me on 11/1/22, yet the same was relevant to the extent that it relates to the same lease that is the subject of the motion dated 7/1/22," said Justice Musyoka in a ruling on 12/1/22 in Kakamega.
He added: "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."
The reversal of the orders dealt a blow to the county which had filed a suit in support of the Ugandan firm.
On January 10, High Court judge Justice Anthony Ndung'u issued a warning to the parties in Mumias lease to stop disobeying lease suspension orders he issued on 29/12/21.
The orders were issued after Tumaz moved to the high court to challenge the Mumias bidding process by PVR Rao, claiming that the process was done in secrecy and was marred by "fraud, mistakes and illegalities."
Justice Ndung'u further ordered Tumaz to serve contempt of Court application to Sarrai and Rao for a hearing on 24/1/2022. Tumaz has filed a petition for the imprisonment of Sarrai directors and Rao for disobeying the lease suspension orders.
Tumaz which is associated with Mwale City investor Julius Mwale was the highest bidder with Ksh.27.6 billion vs Sarrai group's Ksh.11.5 billion according to court papers.
France's Kruman Finances which was the 2nd highest bidder with Ksh.19.6 billion has also protested the lease award to the Ugandan firm which is associated with Rai family.