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Court blocks Grand Regency company

NAIROBI, July 4 – The High Court Friday temporarily stopped Libyan Arab African Investment from interfering with the Grand Regency Hotel until certain issues were resolved.

Justice Alnashir Visram issued interim orders after a former receiver manager,Hezekiah Gichohi moved to court to block the sale, claiming the new transaction would forfeit his dues, amounting to over sh34 million.

Gichohi told the court that he had been a manager at the hotel since June 2003 but that he had not been paid his dues.

Justice Visram had certified the matter as urgent, and the orders issued Friday are valid until July 16, when the case will be heard.

Meanwhile, Lands Minister James Orengo maintains he did not know about the sale of the Grand Regency hotel.

Orengo on Friday termed claims by Finance Minister Amos Kimunya that he was briefed on the sale as untrue since he got to know about the transaction from officials in his ministry.

"On June 26 I expressed the fact that I was ashamed that a transaction of this magnitude could have taken place without my knowledge," said Orengo. " I wrote a memo to the commissioner of lands and pointed out the fact that they should have acted with prudence and ensured that I was informed of the transaction".

Addressing a news conference at his Ardhi house offices Orengo called on Kimunya to resign.

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"Since the Ministry of Finance is so critical, it would be suicidal to continue to subject the country to what we are going through, where the minister is not allowed to answer questions in Parliament," stated Orengo.

Orengo, who blew the whistle over the sale continued to say,"we are in a state of limbo, and I think that is not correct".

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