Last week, a High Court Judge Thripsisa Cherere allowed Guaranty Trust Bank to sell Bluewaters Hotel, becoming the second one of K’Osewe Ranalo Food’s business to be closed down by auctioneers in just two months.
On July 30th, one of K’Osewe’s owned Ranalo Foods in Nairobi’s Upper Hill was auctioned by Bensure Auctioneers. The hundreds of items sold from the restaurant marked the end to the branch.
Bensure Auction sold File cabinets, food warmers, cutlery, microwaves, gas cookers, freezers, furniture and many other items from Ranalo Food, just two days after the Judge Thripsisa Cherere lifted an order that had stopped the bank from selling Bluewaters Hotel and the South C building.
According to the court documents seen by this site, K’Osewe’s owe Guaranty Trust Bank more than Sh328 million, secured using the Kisumu-based Bluewaters hotel and the South C building. The bank has been trying to auction the property since 2018.
Early last year, Mr and Mrs Osewe filled the petition and obtained orders that barred the bank from auctioning their property and businesses arguing that they have been servicing the loan.
After the judge lifted the order barring the auction of the properties, the couple filed an application in court, intending to appeal. The Osewe’s argued that their property is valued at four times the loan. They added that the Kisumu hotel is on a prime beachfront and would be difficult to replace if the auction goes on.
They said adverse action on the Kisumu property would spell doom for their franchising deal with Marriott and Aleph.
In September 2007, K’Osewe incorporated Blue Waters Hotels Ltd, which would later own the Bluewaters Hotel in Kisumu. Mr Osewe’s wife Stella and children Joseph, Stacy and Edward are shareholders in the hotel.
Bluewaters has signed franchising deals with Dubai’s Aleph Hospitality and American giant Marriott International. Bluewaters is expected to join the prestigious league of Protea Hotels by Marriott in 2022.
Guaranty Trust Bank, however, insisted that the Osewes have defaulted on their loan and that they are only buying time with another court order barring the auction. The bank said it is not a party to the franchising agreements.
“The plaintiffs/applicants did not demonstrate that the defendants/respondents would be unable to adequately pay them damages as may be ordered should the intended appeal succeed,” Justice Cherere said.
Mr Osewe’s fortunes have not been good in the last three years. Shortly after opening the Ranalo Foods branch in Kisumu last year, it emerged that the restaurant was on Kenya Railways land. It was demolished but later reopened at another location.
In 2016, Mr Osewe escaped death narrowly when his friend Tom Oywa Mboya shot him three times in what was attributed to a love triangle. He underwent surgery at Aga Khan Hospital.
Mr Mboya, who is a licensed firearm holder was charged on December 9, with two counts of the offence of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty and was set free on a cash bail of Sh300, 000.