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Trouble in Runda as tenants differ with their Association

NAIROBI
By Amos Kareithi | June 26th 2021

Members of the Runda Association during a previous Townhall meeting with politician Peter Kenneth.[Courtesy]

Trouble is brewing in one of Kenya’s most prestigious residential estates, Runda, following a fallout between some tenants and officials of their association.

At the heart of the dispute is a delayed election, the process of nominating new officials to replace those whose term has expired and the quality of services offered by the association.

On June 21, 2021, a section of members wrote to Runda Association over the anticipated elections, complaining that to office bearers were locking out some of the tenants and homeowners.

In a letter by Ougo and partners Associate on behalf of Rael Lubasi, Naveed Sheikh and Danstone Okwani representing a larger group, the members complained that some of the officials had been in office for 15 years.

“We understand that many of the Committee members have served for more than 10 years and some even 15 years and there has been unilateral selection trustees without the direct involvement of the general membership contrary to the provisions of Section 15 of the Association’s Constitution as read together with Section 29 of the Societies Act, Cap. 108 of the Laws of Kenya;” reads part of the letter.

The faction was further aggrieved for allegedly being denied critical information which directly affects the members of the association, complaining that the office-bearer had not disclosed the date of the next annual general meeting.

The estate which has 1,200 homes is run by subcommittees under Runda Association whose core mandate is promotion of social activities within the membership for recreation and enjoyment as well as the encouragement of the growth of a community spirit and sense of responsibility.

Further, Runda Association is supposed to oversee the protection and development of the common and natural resources within Runda as well as enhancement of security and the improvement and development of infrastructure facilities within the estate.

Last week Runda Association chairperson Helga Schroeder responded to the complaints raised by the tenants and dismissive their allegations as sweeping and generic.

Helga wrote, “We note that your clients have made several sweeping and unsubstantiated statements regarding the process of election of Committee Members to various positions in the Association.”

Helga explained that elections of officials and trustees “has always been conducted strictly in accordance with the provisions of the association’s constitution and that there was no term limit for these positions except that of the chairperson.”

 She said the date for the AGM had been set and the information will be relayed to the members in due course.

"Except for the Chairperson whose tenure is restricted to two consecutive terms, the rest of the committee Members retire annually but are eligible for re-election. There are no term limits for ordinary committee members. Lastly the date for the next Annual General meeting has already been set and members will be advised shortly,” she said.

But even as the two sides traded accusations, some of the members complained that security services have been deteriorating to an extent that some gangsters disguised as boda boda operators had been terrorising residents.

The members said majority of the boda boda operators are not properly vetted and checked before being allowed to operate within the estate, exposing residents to criminal elements.

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