Big brother seeks court face-off over Naivas ownership

The elder brother of the wrangling Naivas Supermarkets siblings, Newton Kagira Mukuha, is seeking a judge’s permission to face off with his kin in court over the control of the retail chain. 

Mr Kagira through lawyer Sammy Waweru says his brother Simon Gashwe Mukuha, who is the chairman of Naivas Ltd, had made controversial assertions in his court papers which should be clarified through cross- examination.

He claims his brother lied to the court on how the giant retail chain was started, which led the High Court last November to declare that Mr Kagiri has no stake in the business, having run down all the stores he inherited from his father.

Mr Kagira’s lawyer yesterday told Mr Justice Eric Ogola that Naivas started as a family business and that his client contributed the initial capital, adding that his position is supported on the supermarket’s website.

“Naivas Ltd, which is the first defendant, says on the website that it started as a family business and every member contributed but Mr Gashwe the second defendant, has denied these facts. We therefore seek to cross examine him on the inconsistency,” Mr Waweru said.

According to Mr Kagira, all the siblings met on December 25, 1989 along with their father, where it was agreed that they start a family business.

They were to contribute according to each one’s ability before the end of April, 1990. The said contributions were used to start the family business that grew to become Naivas.

Mr Gashwe has however denied this saying, “ no meeting took place during the Christmas holiday in 1989 and as such no contributions were made.”

Justice Anyara Emukule in November 2014 found that Naivas had ceased to be a family business in 1999 when assets that the late Peter Mukuha Kago – the father of the warring siblings – had accumulated were shared among his children.

Court documents show that the Mukuha family shared the family assets on October 31, 1999 partly to end squabbles that Mr Kagiri had sparked over the multi-million shilling business empire.

Naivasha business

Mr Kagiri was offered a house and Rongai store—which he run down, according to earlier court documents.

His younger brother, Mr 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 later teamed up to run the Naivasha business and ultimately grew the supermarket into the retail giant that is Naivas. The two brothers later offered their two sisters a 15 per cent stake each and a 20 per cent ownership to their father. Mr Kimani and Mr Gachwe have a 25 per cent stake each in Naivas.

The High Court last year said Mr Kagiri can only claim a share of the 20 per cent stake allocated to their father. The case will be heard on November 24, 2015.

SOURCE: BUSINESS DAILY