Court Order allows Nakumatt To Access The Junction Branch, Mall Owner agrees to comply

A High Court in Nairobi on Monday issued a restraining order to Junction Limited, the owners of the Junction Mallin Nairobi.

The order issued by Commercial Division Judge Joseph Onguto under a certificate of urgency restrains Junction Limited, its Directors, servants, among others from closing or interfering with the operations at Nakumatt Junction.

This comes after the owners of the mall through Knight Frank on Sunday kicked out Nakumatt Supermarkets as the anchor tenant of the complex over rent arrears running into millions of shillings.

The order by Justice Onguto has directed Junction Limited to provide unlimited access to Nakumatt Holdings ahead of an inter partes hearing set for 16th October 2017.

Earlier in the day, Nakumatt Holdings through its Managing Director Atul Shah had moved to court seeking the restraining orders.

In his affidavit filed through Iseme Kamau and Maema Advocates, Shah reiterated that the Directors and Managers of the Junction Mall had illegally, deceitfully and using trickery, locked its Nakumatt Junction branch in breach of an existing lease arrangement.

The Junction Mall’s action to unilaterally close Nakumatt’s branch at the shopping complex had served to hurt the retailer’s employees, suppliers and customers at a time when there is a general slowdown of the economy according to Shah.

On the other hand, owners of the mall through Knight Frank also issued a formal statement saying Nakumatt Holdings had signed an Agreement and a Surrender of the Premises with The Junction on 15th September, 2017.

“Nakumatt Holdings did not meet the terms stipulated in the Agreement by the Surrender Date of 30th September, 2017. The terms of the Agreement required Nakumatt to demonstrate to the satisfaction of The Junction that it had taken verifiable steps before the Surrender Date to restock the premises to previous levels of normal trading. Nakumatt failed to provide any documentation to that effect.” Knight Frank said in a statement.

The Junction says it therefore enforced the surrender in accordance with the law. Further, The Junction said it had been served with a court order issuing an injunction against effecting the Surrender pending the inter parties hearing. The Junction agreed to comply with the court order and but said it would take the necessary steps to safeguard its interests.

Africa Sokoni