Prominent Dari Restaurant, owned by the Tuju family, faces potential auction as it struggles with an outstanding debt of kshs2.2 billion. The establishment experienced financial difficulties after it failed to receive the entire loan amount, including a $2.7 million sum, from a UK-based bank. English court judge Daniel Toledano ruled that the bank was not obliged to provide the disputed $2.7 million.
The legal dispute was brought to the English court as stipulated in the facility agreement. In response to the restaurant’s inability to repay the loan, the bank filed a claim on November 5, 2018, in the High Court of Justice Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, Queens Bench Division Commercial Court Royal Courts of Justice. Dari and the Tuju family contested the claim, presenting a defense and a counter-claim.
In a June 19, 2019 ruling, Judge Toledano declared that no agreement had been reached on the additional facility, and no contractual obligation existed to provide the disputed funds. The UK judgment ordered the Tuju family and Dari Ltd to pay the bank a sum of $15,162,320 under the Facility Agreement dated April 10, 2015, and the Guarantee and Indemnity of the same date. They were also instructed to pay the bank interest from June 20, 2019, as well as the bank’s legal costs.
After a failed appeal attempt in the English Court of Appeal, Civil Division, on July 10, 2019, the case moved to Nairobi. The bank filed an application at the High Court on January 3, 2020, seeking recognition, registration, and enforcement in Kenya of the English court’s judgment. High Court judge Winfrida Okwany granted the application on January 7, 2020, setting the stage for the execution of the English court’s judgment in Kenya.
The Tuju family and Dari sought to stay the execution and set aside the ruling. The stay was granted with the condition that they deposit $460,000 as security while the appeal was pending.