Auctioneers raid Amaco Insurance in Sh15m debt row with Meru clinic
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:23
By BONFACE OTIENO
Auctioneers Monday raided the offices of Africa Merchant Assurance Company (Amaco) on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, over a Sh15 million debt owed to a health clinic.
Dollar Auctioneers, which carried out the raid, said Amaco owes Mama Rael Medical Clinic the amount in unpaid claims.
Men who were hired by the auctioneer carted away goods as Amaco staff watched helplessly during Monday’s mid-morning raid.
Amaco general claims manager Ken Kiprop said the company had agreed to pay Mama Rael Medical Clinic Sh1 million by Friday to partially offset the claim.
“This matter is giving us a headache. We will have another meeting next week Monday to agree on how the remaining Sh14 million will be paid in instalments,” said Mr Kiprop.
Amaco controls a 1.69 percent share of the Kenyan market, according to Insurance Regulatory Authority data. It collected customer premiums amounting to about Sh2.1 billion last year.
Some of the goods seized in yesterday’s raid included furniture, a printer and other office equipment.
Police officers guarded the premises as the auctioneers went about their business.
Henry Karauka, an official with Karauka and Company Advocates, said they were taking the goods to a warehouse until Amaco pays the auctioneer’s fee.
“They have to pay the auctioneers fee, which runs to Sh500,000 before they can be allowed access to the office furniture,” he said.
Mama Rael Medical Foundation is owned by Benjamin Ikirima, a US-based health expert, who moved to court in 2017 after Amaco refused to pay a Sh15 million claim. The firm had insured the clinic against general damages.
The contractor who was hired to build the health facility abandoned works half way, prompting the owner to sue Amaco.
The clinic is among a host of other health care service centres owned by the billionaire in Meru.
Amaco reported a Sh75 million after-tax profit for the year ended December 31, 2018, boosted by lower operating costs. Its liabilities decreased 17 percent to Sh1.8 billion compared to Sh2.1 billion the previous year. Its claims also dropped by five percent from Sh1.4 billion in 2017 to Sh1.3 billion in 2018.