By The Weekly Vision Team
The embattled former Kasses constituency Member of Parliament Swarujj Mishra’s business empire is facing serious financial challenges, with auctioneers constantly knocking at his doors. Just a few weeks ago, Judge R. Nyakundi of the High Court in Eldoret saved his property from being auctioned by Legacy Auctioneers Ltd. and CIB Kenya Ltd. over loan arrears amounting to Kshs. 69,529,326.02 and USD 903,316.88, respectively.
Mr Mishra is the proprietor of Mediheal Diagnostics & Fertility Center. He moved to court together with Pallavi Jodhipur Rajthan via a Notice of Motion Application dated October 27, 2023, seeking a temporary injunction to restrain Legacy Auctioneer Services and CIB Kenya from interfering, possessing, marketing, and/or advertising for sale or selling, leasing, sub-dividing, receiving, or taking possession of the suit properties being KAPSARET/KAPSARET BLOCK 2 (KAPTUIYO)/14 and PLATEAU/PLATEAU BLOCK 2 (UASIN GISHU)/37 pending the hearing and determination of the inter-parties of this application.
Mr Mishra argued that he had religiously made payments to CIB Kenya Ltd. and that he was shocked to be informed that he was in arrears via a letter dated October 13, 2023. Further, he said that the claimed amount by the CIB was excessive. He claimed that the entire procedure and steps taken by CIB Kenya Ltd. for Legacy Auctioneers Ltd. to exercise its statutory power of sale are flawed.
Mishra pleaded with the court that the properties host critical medical infrastructure that is vital for the maintenance of the lives of patients. However, CIB Kenya Ltd. opposed Mishra’s application via a replying affidavit and submissions, saying that it was not in dispute. CIB Kenya Ltd. provided a loan facility to the Mishra, which was secured by the properties in question; however, the Mishra defaulted in payment of its loan, necessitating action being taken by Legacy Auctioneers Ltd. towards recovery of the said loan arrears.
On December 7, 2022, CIB Kenya Ltd. wrote a letter to Mishra informing him of the outstanding arrears, but the letter did not elicit any response, forcing CIB Kenya Ltd. to write another letter dated 22.3.23 reminding him of the outstanding arrears owed to the bank. Again, there was no response to this, and therefore, Legacy Auctioneers Ltd. issued him a statutory notice as per the provisions of Section 90 of the Land Act.
Upon expiry of the 90-day statutory notice, the 2nd defendant/respondent proceeded and issued the applicants with a 40-day statutory notice on 9.5.23, as the arrears were now Kshs. 73.041.458.00 and USD 903,316.88. The court noted that on August 12, 2023, Mr. Benjamin Kisoi Sila proceeded to Mishra’s place of business in Eldoret Town and effected service of the 45-day Redemption Notice and Notification of Sale upon Mr. Hillary Biwott, who acknowledged receipt but declined to sign on the auctioneer’s copies.
After the issuance of the 45-day notice chat, Mishra approached CIB Kenya Ltd. with a settlement proposal, and the initial auction chat, slated for October 9, was stopped by the bank. The judge ruled, “In the premises, the application succeeds in its entirety. A temporary injunction is hereby granted in terms of prayer 3 of the application pending the determination of the suit”.