Ranalo Foods, popularly known as K’Osewe owing to its owner William Guda Osewe, is facing auction by Guaranty Trust Bank over Ksh328 million owed to the bank.
The bank has been trying to auction Blue Waters Hotels Ltd, which owns the Bluewaters Hotel in Kisumu, Ranalo Foods Upper Hill and Kimathi Street, Nairobi, since 2018.
In July 30, 2020, Ranalo Foods Upper Hill was closed after Bensure Auctioneers sold hundreds of items in the hotel with instructions from the bank in a bid to recover the debt. This was two days after High Court Judge Thripsisa Cherere lifted an order that had blocked an auction of the hotel.
On Friday, Justice Cherere allowed Guaranty Trust Bank to sell Bluewaters Hotel, spelling more doom for Mr Osewe, who also owns a residential apartment in South C.
The Ksh328 loan had been charged to the Kisumu hotel and the South C apartment.
In court submissions, Mr Osewe argued that he had been servicing the loan, and that the facilities cannot be auctions since they are four times the value of the loan.
He also argued that an auction would be detrimental to a franchising deal with with Dubai’s Aleph Hospitality and American giant Marriott International. The bank said it is not a party to the franchising agreements.
If the Kisumu hotel is auctioned, Mr Osewe’s dream that started from under a tree in Kaloleni selling ‘mshikaki’ will now remain anchored on the city centre branch.
The Kisumu branch was once demolished after it emerged that it was built on a Kenya Railways land. It was relocated to a new area, and Mr Osewe says that if auctioned, it will be hard to get such a location for the hotel.
Other shareholders of the Bluewaters include Mr Osewe’s wife wife Stella and children Joseph, Staicy and Edward.