Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has allegedly blocked East African Development Bank (EADB) from taking over his hotel and property firms at the centre of a Sh1.6 billion defaulted loan.
Two receiver managers appointed by EADB to manage the property said in court documents that they had been blocked thrice from entering the premises in defiance of judge’s order.
Justice Mary Kasango had on March 25, directed the directors of Dari Ltd, to allow two receiver managers- Muniu Thoithi and George Weru, access the Karen property.
This followed an earlier order to place the Tuju firms under the watch of the receiver managers on failure to pay the Sh1.6 billion loan that was borrowed in 2015 and defaulted in 2017.
Mr Weru, an insolvency practitioner from PricewaterhouseCoopers, said despite serving the directors of Dari including Mr Tuju with court orders, they had refused to allow them access the properties or share information on the company such as staff payroll, books of accounts and list of debtors.
Justice Kasango opened the way for Mr Tuju and his three children to be fined or committed to civil jail for up to six months in the event they fail to grant access to the receiver managers. The judge directed the case to be heard on May 20 if Mr Tuju breaches the court orders.
“That I am advised that it is clear that the plaintiffs have no intention of obeying court orders given their persistent and flagrant disobedience of court orders. It is critical that this honourable court upholds the sanctity of court orders,” Mr Weru said in court papers.
He told the court he reported the breach of court orders to Karen Police Station, arguing the station commander informed the receivers that police officers had been assigned to guard the restaurant against terror threats and that they were under the direction of the directors.
Mr Tuju had argued that the bank’s intention was to frustrate his plan of repaying the debt and ultimately auction the property.
The loans were meant for the construction of Sh100 million two-storey, flat-roofed bungalows sitting on a 20-acre forested land dubbed Entim Sidai and the purchase of a 94-year-old bungalow built by a Scottish missionary, Dr Albert Patterson, which currently operates as a high-end restaurant.
But development of the 12 luxury homes worth Sh1.2 billion has fallen behind schedule, setting the stage for defaults and asset seizures.
Mr Tuju and his children guaranteed the multimillion- shilling loan, allowing EADB to suck them into the suit where it is seeking to take over the 20-acre prime property in Karen and the high-end hotel operated by the Tujus.