Ardhi House’s role in multi-billion shilling Koinange land case exposed
By Kamore Maina
| October 6th 2019
The Ministry of Lands has come under the spotlight after a court ruled that the title deed for an 88-acre parcel of land in the wealthy neighbourhood of Runda estate was fraudulently issued.
Lennah Wanjiku Koinange, a daughter to Kenyatta-era Cabinet Minister Mbiyu Koinange, has at the same time been reprimanded by the court for hiving off a section of the 644 acres of land and creating a title deed.
“She had no authority to cause the transfer to herself, or to any other person. The subdivision and transfer were done in contravention of the law,“ High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule said in the ruling.
Muchelule ruled that the title deed issued to Lennah for the prime parcel of land on Limuru Road was null and void.
The judge further ordered that a public announcement be made in local dailies of national circulation informing the public of the cancelled title deed.
He made the ruling after Eddah Wanjiru, one of Koinange’s four widows, made an application challenging the subdivision of the land and the title deed issued to her step-daughter.
Investors who have put up high end malls and restaurants on the land have through the judgement, been put on notice that they could end up losing their investments.
This judgement delivered on June 26 has once again put the spotlight on the Lands ministry and its operations.
Already, a copy of the judgment has been sent to DCI Chief George Kinoti with a request to open investigations into how Lennah had acquired the title deed despite an ongoing succession case.
Eddah has asked Kinoti to investigate the Lands ministry as well as her step-daughter over the nullified title deed.
Lands CS Farida Karoney had on January 10 written to lawyer Paul Muite, who is representing Eddah in court, over the subdivision of the land and issuance of a title deed to Lennah.
In her letter, Karoney provided an inventory of the entire Koinange land on Limuru Road and the names of the registered owners based on records held at Ardhi House.
She advised that a complaint be filed with the DCI over the illegal subdivisions on the land which were not backed up by court orders.
“Concerning any unlawful dealings on the property, we advise that you take up the matter with the DCI to initiate investigations,“ Karoney wrote.
The Koinange family has been fighting in court over the distribution of their vast estate, which includes prime buildings and land in the Nairobi CBD and large tracts in different parts of the country. The succession cases have been dragging on in different courts in Nairobi. The court battles are likely to come to an end on November 8 when the four houses of Koinange will appear in court for the final distribution of the estate.
Yesterday, Eddah, who filed the complaint with the DCI, said she was yet to get a response on the investigations despite numerous calls to Land Fraud Unit bosses.
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