Tony Gachoka and his father Photo: File

Tony Gachoka's mother has sued him for unlawfully taking control of the family land and using it to take a loan that he was unable to pay thus losing the property.

Margaret Njeri Muiruri has sued her son claiming her used the family home to secure a Sh 45 million loan in 1993, from the defunct Trust Bank.

In her suit papers, Njeri wants the High Court to retract Trust Bank's sale of the palatial home in Thika. She further claims that her son, Gachoka, must have colluded with the current Phoenix Aviation general manager Shaun Warren Baretto and Trust Bank owners to steal the property from her family.

Her suit papers reveal that Gachoka used the family home as security for the millions he took in loan, 23 years ago, but defaulted in repayment, forcing Trust Bank to auction the home, leaving the family in penury.

The family home which was sold by the bank, was registered to Njeri and her late husband, Joseph Muiruri Gachoka through their company Central Kenya Limited in 1985. When her husband died in 1988, Njeri decided to enlist her child in the company, namely Jane Gachoka. Two years later, in 1989, Jane ceased being a director and her place was taken by her son, Pius Njuguna Gachoka and Anthony 'Tony' Gachoka.

Five years later, at 23 years old, Gachoka then a director at his late father's company, took the Sh45 million loan from the bank, to 'do business', depositing the title deed as security without informing his mother.

In her suit papers, Njeri claims that the home had been charged to Agricultural Finance Corporation for a loan of Sh3 million. Njeri, trusting her first born son, asked him to act on behalf of the company, and pay the debt to the Agricultural Finance Corporation so that the title deed to the family home would be clear.

In a clear case of betrayal, Gachoka cleared the loan, freed the title deed and without informing her mother, on June, 17 1993, used it to take a much greater loan, the Sh45 million, from Trust Bank. The money from the bank, was deposited in an account of a new company, Katka Islands Limited, where Gachoka held sole ownership. Katka Islands slogan, according to their letterhead was, "An Island of Excellence In Serving You'

The company was styled as Commission Agent, Horticultural Producers and General Traders with two branch, the head office domiciled at MarJoe Hotel in Thika and another branch in town. Its registration number was C38408.

With a solid '23 years’ experience in business', Gachoka's company soon couldn't service the loan repayments and family home went under the hammer, shocking his mother, who had no idea that the family home where her husband had been buried, had been used to secure a loan, of which she never even got a cent.

"Central Kenya Limited has never, through its directors or otherwise, resolved or authorised any of its directors to execute a charge of the suit land in favour of Trust Bank and Trust Finance Limited to secure the sums of Sh15 million and Sh30 million. The charges were therefore invalid, null and void for want of execution," Njeri says in her suit papers.

When Gachoka's company couldn't pay the loan, Trust Bank swung into action and promptly auctioned the family property, throwing Njeri and her children out of the house and the prime land surrounding it.

But oddly enough, and the main reason Njeri is crying foul play, the company that bought the property at an auction was Floriculture International Limited, a company owned by Ajay Shah, who was Gachoka's friend, and also owned Trust Bank.

More intriguing is the fact that the Floriculture International was incorporated two days before the property was to be auctioned, and immediately three days after buying the land for Sh60 million, Floriculture International flipped it to First National Finance Limited for a Sh50 million loan.

Njeri in her suit papers, says Sh60 million was not the true value of the property and claims Floriculture International bought the land at a suspiciously low price.

Baretto, now the Phoenix Aviation general manager, allegedly executed the charge on the family home as a director of Central Kenya Limited alongside Mr Gachoka.

Njeri in her suit papers says that Baretto was never a director at Central Kenya, the company that held the title deed to the property, and so his involvement, alongside Gachoka's amounts to fraud since the two didn't have authority to sign the land over to Trust Bank for the loan..

Gachoka is yet to respond to the suit.