KENYA – A creditor of Mumias Sugar Company has submitted an application to the High Court, requesting the appointment of the official receiver as the administrator of the troubled sugar miller.

Jackline Kimeto, who is owed US$516,800 by Mumias Sugar, filed the insolvency petition against the company and now seeks to have the official receiver complete the administration process.

Kimeto’s application highlighted that Harveen Gadhoke, who was initially selected as the administrator for a one-year term, declined the appointment after reportedly being chosen by law enforcement officers.

Consequently, Kimeto argued that the court should appoint a new administrator to oversee and finalize the administration process as directed by the court.

The application is scheduled to be mentioned before Justice Josephine Mong’are on October 4, where further directions will be provided.

Additionally, Kimeto is requesting that the receiver manager appointed by KCB, PVR Rao, be compelled to submit a comprehensive report detailing all activities and financial transactions he has undertaken since November 2021.

Kimeto had previously filed a notice to withdraw the insolvency petition but later decided to retract the notice, alleging that it was submitted under duress and coercion.

She claimed that she had been threatened and feared for her safety, and had only filed the notice based on the understanding that her debt would be settled within an hour, which did not happen.

Kimeto further expressed her belief that the plan to settle her debt was a result of blackmail by state agents. The court will therefore consider these developments in the ongoing insolvency proceedings against Mumias Sugar Company.

West Kenya Sugar ordered to pay compensation over fatal tractor-motorcycle collision

Meanwhile, in other news West Kenya Sugar Company has been ordered to pay a compensation of US$80,920 to the family of a motorcyclist who tragically lost his life in a road accident three years ago. The court held the sugar company’s tractor driver responsible for the accident.

The incident occurred on August 14, 2020, when the sugar company’s tractor, loaded with sugarcane, collided with Edward Maserabu’s motorcycle along the Turbo-Webuye road, resulting in his immediate death.

The court ruled that the accident was caused because the tractor driver failed to pay proper attention to other road users due to the extended load on the tractor.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi upheld the decision of an Eldoret magistrate, agreeing that the majority of the liability (70%) lay with the sugar company.

The company had appealed the initial judgment, arguing that the trial magistrate had made an error in apportioning liability. However, the High Court judge affirmed the magistrate’s decision, with a minor reduction in the compensation amount.

West Kenya Sugar Company’s appeal had sought to distribute the blame equally (50-50) between both parties involved in the accident.

However, the court upheld the original apportionment of 70% liability on the company, emphasizing the tractor driver’s failure to exercise due care.