Cash-strapped retail chain Tuskys has been dealt a blow in its bid to stop the auction of its goods by Auchland Agencies Auctioneers over rent arrears.
The rent arrears amounting to Sh40 million are due to the owner of Juja City Mall on Thika Road.
In a recent court ruling, Justice Lucy Gacheru lifted temporary orders Tuskys obtained last September blocking the public sale.
“The applicant (Tuskys) admits that it has rent arrears but has not provided or tabled evidence in this court to demonstrate how the same will be paid and neither has it provided a schedule of payment. In view of the foregoing, it is upon the applicant to demonstrate full evidence of the outstanding amount, but not by piecemeal evidence that the amount has been partially paid,” said justice Gacheru.
Justice Gacheru further dismissed claims by Tuskys that the auctioneer had denied them access to the building saying there was no evidence that they had been evicted.
Court documents show that the Mall owner leased the building to Tuskys for a period of 10 years in 2015.
The court heard that Tuskys had over the years defaulted on rent payments.
This, according to the mall Managing Director James Gachiri, forced the management to issue demands for payments through their lawyers.
Gachiri told the court that Tuskys had taken advantage of its market share to frustrate mall owners.
Constant rent default, the court heard, subjected the mall to risk of a dispute with its financier, Co-operative Bank as the rent proceeds were scheduled to offset a loan.
Tuskys is embroiled in a number of disputes with landlords across the country over rent arrears.
The retail chain’s dwindling fortunes forced the management to shut down a number of its branches last year as it struggled to pay its suppliers and workers.
In the same year, Hotpoint Appliances Limited filed a petition to declare the supermarket chain insolvent.
The petitioner is seeking to have the retailer liquidated in efforts to recover over Sh100 million owed for the supply of electronics.
Mismanagement, theft and sibling rivalry are some of the issues that have been attributed to the giant supermarket’s downfall.
The supermarket is banking on a Sh2 billion capital injection from a Mauritius-based firm to solve its financial problems.