The High Court has stopped Sarrai Group Limited from dealing with any movable and immovable assets of Mumias Sugar Company with immediate effect.
Justice Wilfrida Okwany also ordered the immediate return of all moveable assets, machinery or equipment that has so far been removed from the premises of Mumias Sugar Company (in administration).
“Pending the hearing and determination of this application, this court does issue urgent preservation orders in the public interest stopping any dismantling, stripping, removal, transfer and/or disposal of any movable and immovable assets of Mumias Sugar Company with immediate effect,” Justice Okwani ruled.
The judge further ordered Sarrai Group, its agents, employees, servants, subsidiaries or other affiliates including Mumias Sugar (2021) Limited and Rai Cement Limited to cease any and all activities including the operation of machinery, dismantling, vandalism of machinery, removal of assets or any other activity of whatever nature stored and situated within the premises of Mumias Sugar Company.
In addition, the court ordered OCS Mumias police station to facilitate the safe return of all vandalised and looted assets
Mumias creditors moved to court seeking to stop the operation of Mumias Sugar company assets pending the hearing and determination of their case.
Kimeto & Associates, Vartox Resources Inc, Khaminwa & Khaminwa Advocates and Wekesa & Simiyu Advocates want the court to issue an order directing the court appointed administrator of Mumias Sugar, Kereto Marima, to take physical charge of and secure the assets of Mumias Company.
They also want the court to order the court appointed administrator to conduct an audit of all Mumias Sugar company assets and present the comprehensive report in court.
In her supporting affidavit, Jackline Kimeto told the court that it came to her attention that Sarrai Group has been dismantling, vandalising and removing very expensive Mumias’ turbines and machinery outside the premises of the Mumias company and it is not known whether they are being sold off in consultation with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Ramana Rao who illegally gave them possession of the premises.
Kimeto added that she has established that Rai cement is fully owned and controlled by the same people that own and control Sarrai Group, Sarbjit Signh Rai and Rajbir Signh Rai.
“All Mumias assets are currently at Sarrai Group mercy because there is currently no oversight over Mumias’ assets as the new administrator appointed by this court is palpably unable to secure the assets as a result of Sarrai’s continued presence in Mumias premises, “Kimeto said
She avers that she has observed that Sarrai has been emboldened by utterances made by politicians in public meetings that no one can stop Sarrai Group from operationalising Mumias’ sugar factory. Not even the court of appeal.
West Kenya Sugar company through lawyers Paul Muite and Edward Gitonga told the court that the occupation and control of the vast assets of Mumias by Sarrai has exposed those assets to vandalism, and theft and the continued occupation, possession or control of the assets of Mumias by Sarrai is a blatant disregard of the statutory objective of the administration order as it promotes illegal and unlawful activities within the Mumias premises exposing the assets to vandalism and theft a situation that cannot be ignore by this court.
“We humbly submit that a situation where Sarrai on the basis of an irregularly issued lease attacks, takes and vandalizes assets of Mumias without due sanction of the body of creditors would defeat the overall objective of the administration and that the evidence of vandalism and theft as disclosed by the photographs adduced by the Applicant herein are relevant to the just determination of the issue herein and thus admissible,” Muite said.