Former Karuturi workers decry of delayed justice as Court of Appeal postpones hearing

The Court of Appeal on Thursday, 14th June postponed the hearing of an appeal case filed by Karuturi Limited against CFC Stanbic Bank and its receiver managers. The court has set 9th of July 2018 as the new hearing date.
At the same, the Appeal Court has issued conservatory orders restraining CFC Stanbic from selling Karuturi Limited assets as per the High Court orders issued on the 22nd of May 2018.

In the May 22 ruling, High Court Judge Justice Francis Tuiyott allowed the receivers to continue evaluating the Expression of Interests proposals from applicants but not sell the assets as earlier advertised. “…the process of evaluation of expression of interest that may have been commenced by the Defendants shall proceed but no sale of the assets shall be concluded until 14th June 2018, when the parties herein are due to appear before the court of Appeal in respect to the application under rule 5 (2) of the Court of Appeal Rules,” read the court order issued by Justice Tuiyott.

Speaking outside Milimani Law Courts, former Karuturi workers representative, Mr. Samson Ounda said hundreds of workers had travelled from Naivasha, braving the morning cold eager to listen to the judgment when they unfortunately learnt that the case had been postponed.

“We are very unhappy about the postponement of the case. Although the Court has asked CFC Stanbic not to go ahead with the sale of assets,” said Ounda adding on that the over 3000 workers risk losing their jobs if Karuturi falls.
“Not only jobs but also the businesses in the area. The school that we took our kids was also sponsored by the company as well as the hospital in the area. We’ve also written to the county government to intervene and save the farm or get us other jobs,” he said.
The workers have also submitted written petitions to the National Treasury, Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, KRA, Directorate of Criminal Investigation and the Central Bank requesting the institutions to exercise their powers and apprehend CFC Stanbic Bank for the malpractice they committed during the receivership period.

“The receivers are not honest. They have cooked figures to show underperformance of the farm during receivership. They also claim to have thrown away flowers which we know very well it was sold. We just hope that the court will consider all the evidence submitted,” Mr. Ounda added.

The appeal case is challenging a decision made by the High Court on 19th January 2018 allowing CFC Stanbic to auction Karuturi assets if the owners fail to clear Sh1.8 billion debts allegedly owed by the company to the South African based lender.