Mombasa, Kenya, Mar 18 – Over 50 tenants of the nine-storey Hazina Plaza in Mombasa have been evicted after a company that had leased the building failed to pay the owners.
The Hazina Plaza located in the Mombasa Central Business district is owned by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
NSSF had leased the building to MS Techno Holdings Limited for Sh27 million annual rent.
But the company, has not been paying rent for the property since 2017.
Christopher Khisa, NSSF communications manager, told journalists that they had obtained court order to evict Techno Holdings Limited on February 22 this year.
“This property belongs to NSSF members, but if these people do not pay, it means that people who are contributing to NSSF will not get any interests on their savings, and as we speak, they have not paid for about two years which is in excess of Sh70 million,” he said.
NSSF auctioneer, DK Kariuki, who was on ground, said Techno Holdings defaulted in paying the rent since 2017 and they were given sufficient notice.
He said they were distressed on October 4, 2017 for an outstanding rent of Sh23,490,800.
“This matter has been from one court to another. On February 22 the Court of Appeal allowed NSSF to evict Techno Holdings Limited,” he said.
He said the other tenants who were at the building are not recognised before the court.
“Techno Holdings had sublet these other people, but the Court of Appeal recognised them as trespassers, therefore we only know of Techno Holdings,” he said.
Kariuki said at the courts, Techno Holdings lawyers had asked for a 45-day period, but they were granted only 21 days, which expired on Friday.
According to court documents, NSSF had purchased the property in October 1994 from M/S Canon Investment at Sh450 million on sale and lease back basis.
At that time, the property was valued at Sh560 million, according to valuation done by C.M Pandya and Associate on June of 1994.
In April 27, 2010, the NSSF board has approved the lease of the property to M/S Techno Holdings Ltd for a 10-year period, starting August 1, 2010.
The company was to pay Sh27 million annual rent with 10 per cent escalation every two years, and it was a granted a two-year period to compensate for the cost of the renovations.
Techno Holdings however did not occupy the building until April 29, 2014 and were given a two-year grace period ending December 31, 2016.
They renovated the building and sublet tenants up-to the sixth floor of the building and were supposed to start paying rent in 2017, but they defaulted.