Kenya: Tourist firm Crayfish sues Twiga Roses over unpaid debt
A greenhouse at Twiga Roses in Naivasha. The firm is being sued for unpaid land rent. (Photo: Nation Media Group)
The Nation | 20 July 2017
Tourist firm Crayfish sues Twiga Roses over unpaid debt
By JOSEPH OPENDA
A Naivasha company has sued a cash-strapped flower firm seeking to eject it from its land over unpaid land rent and illegal acquisition.
Crayfish Camp, through its director Serah Nyambura, has sued in the Environment and Land Court in Nakuru seeking to get Twiga Roses, formerly Karuturi Limited, suspended from operating on the land in Naivasha.
In the application filed by lawyer Steve Biko, Crayfish Camp wants Twiga Roses evicted from the premises and the land repossessed.
"Pending hearing and determination of this matter, we are requesting the court to issue orders restraining Twiga Roses from trespassing, entering into, planting flowers, harvesting flowers and usage of all or any kind of property situated on the said suit property," part of the application read.
"Also an eviction order be issued upon the defendants and the suit land be returned to the owner," the application read.
In a sworn affidavit, Ms Nyambura says that the flower firm illegally acquired the property after buying shares, without her consent, from Kalasha Holdings Limited, to which the land had been leased for 15 years.
Justice Dalmas Ohungo heard that Twiga Roses, which took over the land in 2007, suspended its operations for a year since 2016 after it was rocked by financial troubles, which led the firm to be placed under receivership.
Crayfish Camp claims that the flower firm did not pay the rent for the entire period and was planning to resume operations without settling the debt.
Ms Nyambura further avers that the flower firm’s decision to suspend operations without informing her exposed the property to the risk of destruction by the workers, who, according to her, are illegally residing on the land.
"Following the company’s decision, the property is dilapidated, abandoned and rendered to waste through overgrown flowers, clogged drainages, blockage of pathways due to lack of maintenance," she argued.
She also told the court that the property was under threat of being disposed of due to the ongoing liquidation that was being conducted without her consent.
Twiga Roses, one of the world’s top growers of cut roses, exporting more than one million stems annually, was put under receivership on February 10, 2014 after failing to service a Sh383 million loan borrowed from CfC Stanbic Bank.
Stanbic in October last year appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as the new receiver managers for struggling firm in place of Ian Small.
Judge Ohungo said the ruling will be made on October 5.
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