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MP tells court he is rightful owner of Sh1.5b land in dispute

NAIROBI
By Kamau Muthoni | March 17th 2021
Mathira parliamentary aspirant Rigathi Gachagua. [PHOTO: Mose Sammy, Standard]

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua (pictured) has defended his company’s ownership of a Sh1.5 billion land near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Gachagua argues in his reply that John Michael Ohas, a former director of physical planning at the Lands ministry, had filed a claim before the National Lands Commission which in 2016 found that the MP’s company, Wamunyoro Investments Limited, owned the land.

The MP was replying to a case where Ohas wants the court to revoke the title registered in the name of Wamunyoro.

Ohas, in his case filed before the Environment and Lands Court, argues the title to the land was fraudulently acquired and should be revoked.

But Gachagua told the court the land initially belonged to Karandi Farm Limited, Peter Nduati Mbugua and Pauline Mulinge.

In 2012, the trio approached Wamunyoro Investments Limited and after conducting due diligence, the firm purchased the land at Sh24 million.

“The applicant’s application is frivolous, grossly misplaced, gravely misconceived, fatally and incurably defective and therefore an abuse of court process,” Gachagua argues, adding that the case should be thrown out.

But Ohas says he was allocated the land in 1994 through his company Columbus Two Thousand Ltd alongside Francis Maritim, Afro-Anglo Investment and former minister Taita Towett, for which he paid Sh50,000 in 1996.

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The former civil servant claims that he left Kenya the same year to seek specialised treatment abroad and that is when the MP allegedly grabbed the land.

According to him, Gachagua acquired a fake allotment letter. The land was then allegedly transferred to Karandi Farm at Sh24 million. He claims that the MP and Dorcas Gachagua were allegedly the directors of Karandi. Thereafter the land was allegedly transferred to Wamunyoro.

Ohas said he had complained to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and they ascertained that the land was illegally transferred.

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