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Firm's bid to stop construction of Sh2 billion Mwariro market flops

 Mwariro market. [Josphat Thiong'o, Standard]

A company that had gone to court seeking to stop the construction of Mwariro market or get paid Sh2 billion for the land has lost the case.

In her judgement, Justice Jacqueline Mogeni found that Abdi Kadir Sheikh Mumin who testified on behalf of Wema Foundation Trust Company Limited had not established the claim as required by law.

“From both documentary and oral evidence, it is clear that there was no valid lease agreement for the construction of Mwariro Market on LR No. 209/20170 between the plaintiff and the first defendant,” she ruled.

Mumin had gone to court seeking to stop the Nairobi county government from constructing the market located in Kariokor arguing that he had a 45-year lease agreement.

He claimed that the lease agreement with the defunct Nairobi City Council was signed on August 17, 2011.

The county advertised for construction bids on the market on May 26, 2017.

Mumin said the construction works were completed and traders occupied it while the case was still on.

He testified on behalf of two other directors but did not table any documents in court.

Justice Mogeni noted that Mumin could not remember who was the Nairobi Mayor and Clerk in 2011 and a document he presented only bore signatures with no names.

The Judge said that the complainant didn’t have consent documents from the Ministry of Local Government as well as minutes from the City Council that resolved to allocate the land to Wema company.

“The letter does confirm the contract between the county government of Nairobi and Wema Foundation Trust Ltd yet the company is Wema Foundation Trust Company Limited,” said the judge.

Justice Mogeni noted that the agreement was signed in 2011 but the registration was done on March 23, 2016, and Nairobi had a governor in office, not a mayor.

In his defence, Mumin said that the City Council delayed the registration.

Nicholas Muinde, a valuer, said that he was instructed orally on October 13, 2023, to assess LR 209/20170 and the land is valued at Sh2 billion.

He, however, never visited the market to inspect the premises after construction he only drove past it.

Nairobi county denied allegations made by Mumin arguing that the title deed that he held was null and void.

The county claimed that the agreement that Mumin had presented was illegal from the onset due to irregularities in its acquisition.

The county cited the lack of consent from the Minister for Local Government and the violation of statutory provisions.

It argued that the land had been set aside for public use and that Mumin had not started any construction works, so he could not claim the lease.

The county urged Justice Mogeni to dismiss the case.

In reply, Mumin said that he could not do any construction work as per the contract because the handover had not yet happened.

The Attorney General denied any knowledge of a Public-Private Agreement (PPA) entered between Mumin and the county.

The AG’s office said that there was a memorandum of understanding (Mou) signed between the Transport Ministry, and the county for the implementation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NaMSIP).

Benjamin Njenga, who works for the Transport Ministry said that the ministry did not conduct due diligence.

Njenga said the MoU signed between the ministry and NaMSIP was for the construction of a fire station.

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