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Kidero beats Khalwale in round one of Mumias Sugar battle

Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale has been stopped from making statements linking Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to financial downfall of Mumias Sugar Company.

This was after Dr Kidero made good his threat to sue Dr Khalwale for refusing to apologise over statements he made alleging that Dr Kidero presided over a financial scandal during his tenure as managing director of the once giant sugar miller.

Justice Joseph Sergon ruled that pending the hearing and determination of the suit, Dr Khalwale or anyone associated with him should not continue linking Dr Kidero with the scandal.

“Pending hearing and determination of the suit, a temporary order is hereby issued restraining Dr Khalwale, or any person acting through him from further making defamatory statements against Dr Kidero in relation to management of Mumias Sugar Company Limited,” ruled Sergon.

The Nairobi governor, through senior counsel Prof Tom Ojienda argued that the statement made by Dr Khalwale at a function last week in Mumias when President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a Sh1 billion bailout to the company was defamatory and meant to portray Dr Kidero as a thief.

Prof Ojienda submitted that despite writing a demand letter for him to withdraw the statements, Dr Khalwale refused and went ahead on June 26 to hold another press conference where he repeated the defamatory words against Dr Kidero.

“Dr Khalwale continues to engage in bad publicity, character assassination and incitement of public spite against the governor. He knows that the statements were malicious, false, reckless but still refused to withdraw the remarks,” said Ojienda.

FINANCIAL AUDIT REPORT

He added that Dr Khalwale’s intention was only to create an enmity between the governor and the people he serves, and the investors in Mumias Sugar Ltd whom he served with unmatched success for nine years.

Dr Kidero detailed in his affidavit the financial audit reports of the company for the years he served as MD to prove that the company was making profits and that he did not preside over the losses.

“During my tenure, the company was acclaimed as the leading sugar producer in Kenya, a pioneer of branding in the sugar industry, a market leader, innovator and trend setter in the sugar industry. We also made profits year after year as proved by the audit reports,” swore Kidero.

He added that the board of directors signed all audited and published financial statements of the company for the period he was at the helm, and that there was no single year audit firm Deloitte and Touche raised questions of financial scandal.

He reiterated that the company started making loses after he left in 2012 to concentrate in politics, and that those losses should be attributed to new leaders who took over from him.

“Dr Khalwale’s motives were actuated by malice and a calculated scheme to portray me as corrupt. He deliberately failed to qualify the false allegations although he was aware that the audit by KPMG was a draft and not conclusive report of the company accounts,” swore Kidero.

Justice Sergon certified DR Kidero’s application as urgent and directed that Dr Khalwale be immediately served with the orders. He scheduled the hearing on July 15.