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Koinange's daughter wins battle on Sh2.4b prime land in city

NAIROBI
By Paul Ogemba | October 22nd 2019

A daughter of former powerful Cabinet Minister Mbiyu Koinange has won the battle for possession of land in Nairobi's Lavington worth Sh2.4 billion.

Justice Elijah Obaga last Friday dismissed an application that sought to stop Lennah Catherine Koinange from disposing, sub-dividing or selling the 4.8-acre land in a decision that dealt a huge blow to Nairobi House Limited which is also laying claim to the land.

The company wanted to stop Ms Koinange from disposing the land, arguing it is the genuine owner but the judge ruled that the application lacked merit.

“I find that the application for injunction filed by the company lacks merit and is hereby dismissed with costs to Ms Koinange. The issues raised can only be determined after the full hearing as to who is lawfully the owner of the disputed parcel of land,” ruled Obaga.

At the centre of the dispute are two different title deeds held by Koinange and Nairobi House Ltd. Her title is registered as 209/7577 with deed plan number 91752 for 4.8 acres while the company’s title is registered as 6863/75 under deed plan number 91751 for 7.7 acres.

The company argued it has a valid title with a 999-year lease from 1910 and that it owned the land until 2016 when Koinange allegedly invaded it and started constructing a perimeter wall.

Nairobi House Limited submitted that it stands to lose the land currently valued at more than Sh2.4 billion should the court allow Koinange’s daughter to proceed with developing it.

In her replying affidavit, Koinange claimed the company is a ghost entity not registered in Kenya and that it wants to forcefully grab the land she inherited from her father using an illegally acquired title.

She swore that her father gave her the land before his death in 1981 and it wasn’t until 1990 when she registered it in her name and was issued with the title.

According to records from Nairobi City County filed in court, the property measuring 4.8 acres is privately owned and registered in the name of Lennah Catherine Koinange and that there is no 7.7-acre land in the location being claimed by the company.

Director of Criminal Investigations had also waded into the dispute and obtained warrants allowing investigations on how Nairobi House Ltd acquired its title which it used as security for a Sh850 million loan from Diamond Trust Bank.

The company also filed a petition to block the probe, but Justice George Odunga dismissed the application and directed the DCI to proceed with investigations to determine if the title is genuine

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