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Court blocks release of Sh14m in tender bid

Paul Muhoho The High Court yesterday blocked a financial institution from surrendering Sh14million to a real estate firm that had been offered by a contractor as a tender bid security for an alleged fraudulent Sh770million construction project in Kamulu, Machakos County.

Manyota Ltd secured the sanctions against Guaranty Trust Bank stopping the pay-out to Landbank Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd in execution of the agreement signed between the parties on June 26.

Justice Fred Ochieng’ ruled that it was in the interest of justice to freeze the release of Sh14,295,521/45 following complaints by Manyota Ltd that the alleged lucrative tender floated by the developer was a fraudulent scheme to swindle the contractor of its money.

Lawyer Kabue Thumi said the aggrieved firm stood to suffer huge financial losses in the alleged fictitious project for the construction of a boundary wall and guard-house on non-existent 1,084-acre land.

The firm’s representative did not participate in the tender opening exercise conducted on June 19 but the confirmation of the successful bid was communicated on August 12.

A director of Manyota Ltd, James Njukia Ihura, explained in a sworn statement that his firm was allegedly disqualified for failure to furnish nearly Sh71.5million performance bond despite assurances by the developer’s chairman, Kenneth Omollo, that the sum demanded would be reduced.

Njukia said he was personally taken by Omollo on a tour of the proposed site for the project on June 20 but his requests for a surveyor to pinpoint the beacons and boundaries were not fulfilled.

Further, the developer was unable to provide genuine land titles and the owners had confirmed their property was unavailable for any development, he said.

Subsequent investigations had revealed the firms of architects and civil engineers allegedly engaged by the developer were not registered with regulators as required by law, he said. Justice Ochieng’ directed Kabue to provide the defendants with all the necessary documents to pave way for the hearing on September 9.

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