Foreign Tycoon Loses 20 Vehicles in Ksh7B Row

  • Imported cars at the port of Mombasa await clearance.
    Imported cars at the port of Mombasa await clearance.
  • A foreigner is set to lose 20 vehicles after the court authorised a private auctioneer to proceed with the sale of the automobiles to offset a loan balance. 

    Justice David Majanja directed the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to transfer and issue the logbooks to seven buyers who had purchased the cars through a private settlement. 

    The court also blocked the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from demanding Ksh 7.3 billion from the Lebanese billionaire, who owns Zakhem International Construction. KRA sought to block the auctioneer from selling the cars and trailers, arguing that the foreigner owed tax worth billions. 

    Majanja nullified all conditions set by KRA to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) which sought to prevent the transfer of ownership of the vehicles. 

    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building
    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building

    "The hindrances placed against the suit motor vehicles by KRA are illegal as they are not based on any law or regulation, they, therefore, violate the Constitution and are null and void and of no effect," Majanja said. 

    KRA also demanded an undisclosed cash payment from Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) after Zakhem International Construction constructed the Ksh48 billion Mombasa-Nairobi oil pipeline.

    In September 2020, KRA froze the tycoon's Ksh 9 billion pay from KPC and demanded over Ksh 6.7 billion. 

    Ironically, KPC owes the Lebanese tycoon over Ksh8.5 billion for unpaid completed works and extension of time claims. Ksh3.8 billion for pending certificates and Ksh 4.7 billion in court awards for delayed works and interest on unpaid amounts.

    KPC filed a suit against the Ksh 4.7 billion saying that "Even if KPC loses this case, KRA has charged us to collect Sh6.7 billion which the contractor owes them. Our priority in any payment will not go to the contractor but to KRA. 

    "Even if we pay the Ksh 3.8 billion that is legally owed to the contractor in pending certificates, the money will go to KRA," Macharia Irungu, Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) told the Senate. 

    The Lebanese complained that he failed to offset his loans owing to the delays in payment despite completing the project four years ago, thus losing his property to the auctioneers. 

    Storage tanks for Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC)