By Wahome Thuku
Property developers Suraya Group have been engaged in court battles with an aged couple over a multi-million shillings housing scheme in Nairobi.
The dispute whose origin was an agreement muted in 2006 revolves around 108 acres of prime land in Gigiri near the Village Market, owned by retired civil servant, Isaac Kamau Ndirangu, 82.
On October 9, 2006, Kamau and Mr Peter Muraya, the Suraya Group’s chief executive officer, struck a lucrative deal to construct an estate on part of the land, comprising a five-star hotel, shopping mall, two office parks, an exclusive country club and 105 residential homes.
Suraya then wrote to Kamau and his wife Elvin Wambui, 76, in August 2007 confirming that “a proper detailed agreement will be prepared by the advocates and executed.”
That formal agreement was executed between Suraya Property Group and W&K Estates owned by Kamau and his wife on December 1, 2007 for development of the first phase of 20 houses on 11.5 acres of the land.
Suraya Group was to contribute Sh138 million for this phase and also pay Kamau monthly access fees of Sh1 million.
Kamau and Muraya registered a separate company W&K Developers Ltd to undertake the sourcing of contractors, consultants, advertise and collect all the proceeds from the sale of the houses.
A dispute arose along the way when some houses had already been put up and sold at Sh28 million each. Kamau wrote to Suraya saying the contract had been nullified. Suraya Group took the matter to court.
On May 5, 2010, they got interim injunction stopping Kamau, his wife and W&K Estate from dealing in any way with all the 120 acres of land pending the determination of the main application for injunction.
On June 29, same year, Suraya lodged caveats on two titles of Kamau’s land – LR No. 12239 and LR No. 12240. They also registered two orders of the interim injunction against the property.