Zaheer Jhanda, one of the men at the centre of Kenya’s fake gold scam, is embroiled in a Sh12 million car loan dispute with a local lender.
KCB bank accuses the politician of defaulting on the car loan he took five years ago.
In suit papers, the bank claims Mr Jhanda took the money to buy a new Mitsubishi Fuso Tipper Truck from Simba Corporation Limited for Sh8,917,650.
The asset finance loan was issued on November 18, 2014.
The credit was secured by the logbook of the motor vehicle, registration number KCB 745F, which was to be registered in the joint name of the bank and Mr Jhanda together with his personal guarantor for Sh6.5 million.
At the time of taking the loan Mr Sameer Merllah Jhanda was his guarantor and has also been sued by KCB over the loan dispute. It is not clear whether Sameer is related to Mr Jhanda.
According to the bank, the loan was disbursed but was only serviced for six months until June 2015 when it lapsed into arrears.
The turn of events saw the vehicle repossessed and sold at a public auction by Leakey Auctioneers on April 26, 2016 for Sh5.18 million yet its market value at the time was Sh6.87 million.
But the bank alleges that despite the motor vehicle sale, there was still an outstanding loan balance of Sh12,103,943.50 as at November 2016 which continues to accrue interest.
“In spite of demands having been made and notice of intention to sue have been given, Mr Jhanda and his personal guarantor, despite admitting being in debt, have refused, failed or neglected to pay the aforesaid sum or any part thereof,” said the bank’ lawyers from Walker Kontos law firm.
Even though the duo are identified as persons working in Nairobi, the bank has told court that their physical addresses are unknown.
KCB took the matter to court on December 21, 2018.
However, when attempts were made to find Mr Jhanda and his personal guarantor so that they could be given copies of the case documents, they could not be traced.
When contacted through phone number 0722514888, the person who received the call claimed that he was not the one being sought after by the bank.
When contacted again twice, calls went unanswered, a move that forced the bank to rush back to court with an application seeking to have the matter put in a national newspaper as an advertisement.
KCB told court that the phone calls to the said number were made on March 4, 5 and 7 because there was no other known addresses of the two in Kenya.
In the case documents filed on March 29, the bank pleaded that there was no other means of reaching out to the two to attend court proceedings other than an advertisement about the case in the newspaper.
Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Ayuma Mmasi heeded to their pleas and issued an order on April 18 that the matter be placed as an ad in the Daily Nation within 30 days.
The magistrate also ordered that the duo to avail themselves for the case within 15 days after the matter has been advertised.
The bank has presented to the court some of the loan agreement details which include signatures of the two and a registration certificate of the said vehicle bearing Mr Jhanda’s name.
KCB wants Mr Jhanda compelled to pay them the said monies with a 13 percent interest.
The bank also wants his guarantor ordered to pay Sh6.5 million with the same interest rate.