Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has responded to a case in which President Kenyatta’s personal assistant and nephew, Jomo Gecaga sued him over Sh950,000 rent dispute.
In a suit filed through JSTA Limited this week, Gecaga asked the court to block Kidero’s company, GemInvest Limited from evicting him from an apartment on Nairobi’s Riverside Drive over unpaid rent arrears.
Gecaga through his attorney Anthony Gikaria argued that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic affected his ability to meet monthly rental obligations.
He added that the situation was further aggravated by the imposition of tough Covid-19 containment measures by the government and the international community, which destabilized local and global trade.
Lawyer Gikaria noted that Gecaga will be greatly prejudiced and embarrassed should the court fail to block GemInvest from instructing auctioneers to levy distress and evict him.
The lawyer also asked the court to bar GemInvest from harassing, illegally evicting Gecaga, or interfering with the tenancy agreement.
GemInvest issued JSTA with a tenancy termination notice on September 17th, 2020 requiring it clear outstanding rental arrears totaling Sh950,000, renovate the apartment and vacate by September 30th. The company threatened court action if the two conditions were not met.
JSTA termed GemInvest’s move to terminate its tenancy agreement as harsh, saying it failed to take into consideration the economic crisis occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But in his response to the suit, Kidero through GemInvest accused Gecaga and JSTA of hiding behind the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid paying rent.
He stated that that the pandemic and goodwill were not unforeseeable circumstances in a tenancy agreement signed between the two companies in March 2014 and renewed in November 2019.
Kidero further argues that the court cannot interfere in a private-contractual agreement and wants Gecaga’s case dismissed.