30 March 2011

Kenya: Court Halts Bank Sale of Thika Farmer's Land

The commercial court has extended an order stopping Barclays Bank from auctioning a Thika farmer's plot over a Sh1 million debt.

Justice Leonard Njagi sitting at the Milimani Commercial Courts refused to lift orders stopping the bank from selling Edward Mbugua's farm pending hearing of the suit on April 13. The bank sought the orders after Mbugua asked for adjournment of the hearing of the case.

The judge also extended orders prohibiting the Thika District Land Registrar from registering any transfer pertaining to land parcels belonging to Mbugua.

Mbugua moved to court seeking orders restraining the bank from auctioning his land, saying he had already paid a Sh500,000 loan advanced to him and his family in 1998.

The matter could not proceed because Mbugua had only just instructed a lawyer to represent him. The lawyer applied for adjournment saying he needed more time to file a supplementary affidavit in the suit. Justice Njagi granted the request and directed that the case be heard without further delay.

In his affidavit Mbugua said the bank advanced Sh500,000 to his family in 1998 which they cleared. He said last year he started receiving contradictory letters from the bank.

He said the first letter from the bank was demanded clearance of Sh1 million, while the second letter demanded Sh4 million. He said their loan had been written off in 2002 and they had no outstanding balance.

Mbugua said despite several demands for the bank to supply him with correct and proper accounts of outstanding liabilities, the bank has refused.

He said on August 9, 2010 he received notification of sale of their land from the bank's auctioneers.

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