Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has asked the court not to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nephew and Personal Assistant Jomo Gecaga to use Covid-19 as an excuse to avoid paying rent in his apartment.
Gecaga had moved to court seeking to block his eviction from Gem Suites Riverside apartments, a high-end apartment in Riverside, Nairobi, through JSTA Ltd, a company linked to his father Udi Gecaga.
Kidero has said Covid-19 and goodwill were not unforeseeable circumstances in a tenancy agreement signed in March 2014 by JSTA Limited and GemInvest Ltd and renewed in November 2019.
Kidero, who wants the case dismissed, said the court cannot interfere in a private-contractual affair.
Tenants at the property pay a monthly rent of Sh540,000, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, JSTA had asked Gem to reduce that figure to Sh250,000.
Gem used Sh 1,084,900, an amount deposited by JSTA as security to settle the rent arrears for February and March.
However, On September 11, the older Gecaga requested Kidero to extend the offer for paying half rent to December, but Kidero, through Geminvest Limited, turned down the request.
On September 17, Gem issued a termination notice to JSTA citing the failure to clear the outstanding Sh950,000 as per the tenancy agreement.
“Geminvest Limited will not accept payment of Sh250,000 only as monthly rent. The company requests that you clear the current outstanding bill of Sh950,000 for the period ending September 30 and then vacate the unit,” Geminvest Limited’s court documents read.
Further, the Gecagas have been accused of refusing to sign the new lease agreement which, according to Geminvest limited, lapsed in March 2016.
JSTA has asked the court to restrain Gem from illegally evicting the tenant, harassing, or interfering with the tenancy agreement.
Further, JSTA maintained that unless the court intervenes, the eviction by auctioneers will cause them embarrassment and distress.