The eldest of the three Naivas brothers who has been fighting for a share of the giant retailer has been dealt a blow by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that he has no stake in the supermarket chain.
A bench of three judges dismissed Newton Kagiri Mukuha and stood with the High Court judgment of 2014 that found that he has no stake in the retail chain, having run down all the stores he inherited from his father.
Mr Kagiri had moved to court seeking to oust his brother Mr David Kimani as the CEO. He was also seeking a seat in the Board, a 20 percent stake and a share of the 20 percent stake held by his late father. The 20 percent stake is estimated to be worth Ksh4 billion.
“We believe we have said enough to demonstrate that the appellant’s appeal is without merit and the same is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Fatuma Sichale and Sankale ole Kantai said.
The Court of Appeal said Mr Kagiri has never appealed against Justice Anyara Emukule’s High Court judgment.
“How then can he turn around and say that the Court (Emukule, J.) could not issue the orders that were issued on 31st October 2014? We think the appellant is blowing hot and cold, a situation we are not prepared to countenance,” the judges said.
Naivas received Ksh6 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firms Amethis and MCB Equity Fund and German sovereign wealth fund DEG recently, meant for an expansion drive.
Kagiri, who lives in Kayole estate in Nairobi, is also seeking a share of the Ksh6 billion received from the investors.
In the 2014 ruling by Justice Anyara Emukule, Naivas ceased to be a family business in 1999 when assets that the late Kago had accumulated were shared among his children.
At that time, Naivas (then Rongai Self-Service Store) had three supermarkets in Elburgon, Rongai and Naivasha.
Mr Kagiri was offered the Rongai store and a house. His younger brother, Simon Gachwe and sister, Grace Wambui, were given a house and the Elburgon store while David Kimani and his sister, Linet Wairimu, took over the Naivasha business.
Mr Kimani and Mr Gachwe partnered to run Naivas. They gave their sisters a 15 percent stake each and a 20 percent ownership to their father, Mr Kago. Mr Kimani and Mr Gachwe had a 25 percent stake each in Naivas until the sale of the 30 percent stake.