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Groups tussle over prime Donholm housing project plot in Nairobi

COUNTY_NAIROBI
By RAWLINS OTIENO and KURIAN MUSA | March 26th 2014

By RAWLINS OTIENO and KURIAN MUSA

NAIROBI, KENYA: Two self-help groups have been accused of invading a property allegedly owned by over 600 members of the Sauti Sacco in a Donholm Housing Project.

The property in a 30 acre plot worth about Sh1 billion was by the groups that call themselves Alfajiri and Obama.

High Court gave an order barring Alfajiri Self Help Group and Sauti Sacco from the land until a suit filed by the former in 2007 claiming ownership of the land is resolved.

Already a group has started construction on the plot, LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/8760 which is still a subject to a pending court case.

The Sacco, through Desai, Sarvani and Pallan Advocates, said that certain persons are purporting to subdivide, construct, and carry out transactions on the land without its consent.

The law firm through a caveat said: "Any purported allotment, sale, letting, charging, subdivision, construction upon or transaction over or in respect of the property known as NAIROBI/ BLOCK 82/8760 or dealing in connection with the title thereof in any other manner howsoever without our client's consent and authority is invalid, unlawful, fraudulent, improper, null and void and further amounts to trespass."

And Ms Otuoma Estella the acting manager of Sauti Sacco said the case in which Sauti Sacco is represented by Sharad Rao Advocates was yet to be dispensed with following numerous adjournments.

Otuoma has urged the public to guard against being defrauded by the conmen and re-affirmed that the land in question legally belongs to Sauti Sacco.

The invaders were still ferrying lorry loads of construction materials to the plot and reports are that a woman of Somali origin has been swindled of Sh1 million by the groups that purport to own the land.

"But despite the court orders, Alfajiri members and an administrator in the area have been purporting to allocate and sell the parcel of land to unsuspecting members of the public," she said.

Documents seen by The Standard show that Sauti Sacco bought 83 acres of land from Continental Developers in 1994 at a cost of Sh108 million that was raised from Sauti Savings, deposits from Donholm Project members, and a loan from Co-operative Bank.

The title to the land was charged by the Co-operative Bank due to money owed to it by the Sacco. Sauti then paid Co-operative Bank Sh100million in 2007 arising from the sale of 50 acres of the parcel to

GreenSpan Developers Limited following a decade year court battle over the debt.

The Co-operative Bank and Sauti Sacco had a protracted court battle lasting 10 years during which it petitioned the court to sanction the sale of the land to recover it dues.

As per Nairobi City Council's minutes of April, May, and June 2007, the Alfajiri group that is among those claiming ownership of the land, was given temporary allocation of plot LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/4262.

The Sacco contends that land allocated Alfajiri's was LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/4262 and not LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/4264 before owned by Sauti Sacco.

Another party, Savanaland Self Help Group, lay claim to the land. The group has since presented to the Sacco and Continental Developers, the original owners of the land, a temporary court injunction barring them from evicting them or interfering with their possession of LR No.82/4264.

The court order issued by Principal Magistrate D. Ole Keiwua of Milimani Commercial Court on August 27, 2013 complicated the enforcement of an earlier order issued in 2007 barring Alfajiri Self

Help Group and Sauti Sacco from the land until a suit filed by the self-help group is resolved.

In the subsequent subdivision, the original title deed to the land LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/4264 ceased to exist and two titles, LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/8759 and LR NAIROBI/BLOCK 82/8760, were issued by the Ministry of Lands in 2007 to Green Span Developers Limited and Sauti Sacco Society Limited respectively.

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