The Court of Appeal has temporarily halted the auction of businessman William Osewe Guda over a Ksh330 million debt owed to Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank).
Mr Oswewe, who owns the Bluewater Hotel in Kisumu, faces auction of his apartment in Nairobi’s South C. Mr Osewe owns the Ronalo or K’Osewe eateries in Nairobi and Kisumu.
A bench of three judges ruled that the auction be put on hold on the condition that they deposit Sh25 million in court within 45 days.
“We have considered the application and concluded that the grounds raised by the applicants are arguable and cannot be said to be frivolous such as to be dismissed as insubstantial. Their properties are in danger of being sold and if this application is not granted they stand to suffer a colossal loss if transferred to third parties due to the value involved, and the appeal would be rendered nugatory,” ruled Justices Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage and Jamila Mohammed.
Mr Osewe argued in court that he continued to service their loan despite disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We hereby now grant the injunction and stay of proceedings sought in the motion and order that once the condition imposed by this Court on 17th December 2020 is satisfied, such injunction and stay shall extend to the hearing and determination of the appeal,” the judges said.
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.
The Ksh320 loan had been charged to the Kisumu hotel and the South C apartment.
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.