Royal Media Services owner SK Macharia loses bankruptcy case and a Ksh.155 Million Land Battle

The Royal Media Services owner, business mogul SK Macharia has lost a case to bar a businessman from declaring him bankrupt over a Ksh500,000 debt that has since grown to Ksh155.6 million.

The case which has been in court for almost 30 years now, was ruled against the media mogul by a three-judge bench.

The Court of Appeal judges William Ouko, Asike Makhandia and Gatembu Kairu ruled that Mr Macharia and his wife challenged an earlier court ruling on the existence of the debt as opposed to the bankruptcy suit.

Macharia challenged the debt in the bankruptcy proceedings initiated by businessman Livingston Waithaka through his company, Oceanfreight Transport on failure to pay debt.

According to the case, the debt arose from a botched land deal that saw Mr Waithaka to demand a refund of Ksh500,000 which he had paid as a deposit to the Macharias in the 1980s for a piece of land in Nairobi’s Industrial Area.

The land was then valued at Ksh 2. million.

The debt battle has gone through three High Court Judges, including Martha Koome, Luka Kimaru and Kalpana Rawal.

In October 2001, the then High Court Judge Rawal, issued a ruling against the Macharias before she rose to become Deputy Chief Justice before retiring in 2016.

The judge directed the duo to pay a sum of Ksh500,000 with interest at 19 percent per annum from December 6, 1986 until payment in full. The debt has since risen to Sh155.6 million based on the court ruling.

The two, however, went quiet until 2008 when they were served with bankruptcy notices.

They challenged the notices but the matter was dismissed by Justice Luka Kimaru on May 2008.

Justice Kimaru later granted Mr Waithaka permission to commence bankruptcy proceedings.

However, the Macharia  filed several unsuccessful applications concerning the bankruptcy claims.

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