Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
A High Court in Nakuru yesterday declined to issue an order compelling Mt Kenya University (MKU) and its founder Simon Gicharu to compensate two businessmen and their firm for relocating its Kericho campus from their premises.
Step Up Holdings Limited and two of its directors Bernard Gikundi Mwarania and Margaret Karirwa Mwongera wanted the court to declare that the university was in breach of MoU and be ordered to pay damages for the violation.
The two directors accused the university of scheming an illegal takeover when it relocated 3,807 students and 295 members of staff from their premises despite an MoU of 10 years.
Mwarania and Mwongera said they had entered into an agreement with the university to run a campus in Nakuru, which they established and MKU agreed to pay them collaboration fees.
In March 2011, they reached another verbal agreement to open another branch in Kericho town, where they would also be paid collaboration fees but the university relocated the students and staff to other premises.
They argue the move caused them to lose millions of shillings for establishing the premises for the campus in Kericho and leaving the place deserted with no students.
Justice Joel Ngugi, however, declined to grant the orders sought allowing the preliminary objection filed by MKU and its founder.
The judge ruled that the two directors were abusing the court process by filing several suits in different courts against the university and its founder.
“The petitioners have actually consolidated and aggregated their existing suits filed in the High Court into one constitutional case. They are asking the constitutional court to supervise other divisions of the High Court where the other suits are docketed which is an abuse of court process,” he ruled.