Kibaki back in court over con­trol of dis­puted firm

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS - Joseph Wan­gui jwan­gui@ke.na­tion­media.com

For­mer Pres­i­dent Mwai Kibaki and the di­rec­tor of a com­pany they claim to have owned since 1970s have filed an ap­peal after los­ing con­trol of the busi­ness en­ter­prise.

Mr Kibaki and Kimwatu Kanyungu want the Court of Ap­peal to over­turn the orders is­sued by the Lands and En­vi­ron­ment Court di­rect­ing the two fac­tions of the Mathin­gira Whole­salers Com­pany Ltd to man­age the com­pany jointly.

This de­nied Mr Kibaki and five other di­rec­tors an op­por­tu­nity to ex­clu­sively run the com­pany.

Through lawyer Ka­mau Kuria, the two also want the Ap­pel­late court to quash the di­rec­tive that the com­pany elects new board of­fi­cials to run its af­fairs and ac­cess bank ac­counts.

They want the di­rec­tors cur­rently run­ning the firm be re­moved and the con­trol be re­verted back to them.

The dis­puted 0.0697 hectare land, where the Mathin­gira Whole­salers Com­pany Lim­ited is housed, was bought by nine mem­bers in­clud­ing the for­mer pres­i­dent in the 1970s. They later in­cor­po­rated it as a whole­sale com­pany in 1983, lo­cated in Ny­eri town.

Mr Kuria in­di­cated that the re­tired Pres­i­dent and Mr Kanyungu were not heard by the judge, Jus­tice Lucy Waithaka un­der the Lands and En­vi­ron­ment Court when she de­liv­ered the ear­lier judge­ment that al­lowed all the feud­ing di­rec­tors and own­ers to man­age the firm.

In the no­tice of mo­tion, the lawyer added that some par­ties in the suit, whose dis­pute started in 2008, died dur­ing the ten­ure of the suit and no re­place­ments were made. He in­di­cated that Jus­tice Waithaka ig­nored the prin­ci­ple that eq­uity fol­lows the law.

The dis­pute arose after the com­pany’s di­rec­tors dis­agreed on its man­age­ment after a new chair­man was elected into of­fice in Oc­to­ber 2007 re­plac­ing Mr Kanyungu. The court heard that Mr Kibaki and his seven friends, in­clud­ing his brother Sa­muel Githinji, ac­quired the pro­tracted prop­erty in 1983 and were reg­is­tered as the first share­hold­ers and di­rec­tors of the com­pany.

The share­hold­ing of the com­pany also changed after due to trans­fer of shares by some of the ini­tial pro­pri­etors of the com­pany and in­her­i­tance.

The own­er­ship row of Mathin­gira peaked when peo­ple al­leg­ing to be new di­rec­tors of the firm moved to court and sued for­mer di­rec­tors in­clud­ing Mr Kibaki, Mr Kanyungu, Mr Ki­iru Gachuiga, Mr Gad­son Gi­tonga, Mr Kib­era Gatu and the for­mer pres­i­dent’s brother over own­er­ship.

The two want the Ap­pel­late court to quash di­rec­tive that the com­pany elects new board o icials to run its af­fairs

FILE

SUIT For­mer Pres­i­dent Mwai Kibaki.

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