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TSS kin fights bank’s bid to sell its land in Machakos

The family of deceased tycoon Twahir Sheikh Said has accused NIC Bank #ticker:NIC of foul play in advertising for the auction of a 3.6 acre piece of land in Machakos, arguing that the lender did not disclose its plans to sell the property during negotiations with them aimed at settling the businessman’s debts.

It claims that during a meeting with NIC Bank’s top officials including managing director John Gachora in March, the lender agreed to collaborate with them to find a solution that would see loans Mr Said had taken repaid as soon as possible.

NIC Bank advertised for the sale of the Machakos property in June, as it sought to recover an undisclosed amount lent to Mr Said, better known as TSS. Said is said to have been in arrears of at least Sh1.4 billion as regards the NIC Bank loan at the time of his death in January.

The Machakos property is registered to TSS Spinning and Weaving, one of the several firms Said left to his family. The tycoon’s daughter Tauhida Tahir has through TSS Spinning and Weaving moved to court to challenge the planned auction.

Mr Said’s family has obtained a temporary order barring NIC Bank from auctioning the land, on condition that they deposit Sh1 million in court and settle auctioneers’ fees. The NIC Bank loan was advanced to TSS Grain Millers, with TSS Spinning and Weaving as one of the guarantors.

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They claim that the advertisement was published before TSS Spinning and Weaving was issued with a statutory notice as required by law.

“TSS Spinning and Weaving desires a structured out-of-court settlement to resolve this stalemate,” Ms Tauhida Tahir says in court papers. NIC Bank is yet to respond to the suit. Justice Rachael Ngetich has granted the lender until September 29 to file a replying affidavit.

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