Buyers set to join battle for ownership of Karen land

Buyers of the controversial Karen land in Nairobi want to join a case in which a company is fighting three others to lay claim on the 134-acre prime property.

The more than 50 individuals and companies who had purchased plots from Telesource said they wanted to be part of the case because they “are the actual victims”.

They assembled Tuesday on the property with their lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Julius Anyoka and Mutiso Mutinda, and told reporters that they were innocent victims.

They said they would move to court “not later than this week”.

“The plaintiff in this matter did not enjoin these people in this suit yet they have a claim to this land. By not including them in the case, it meant there was some unfairness in this issue,” said Mr Ombeta.

“We shall be joining this suit. We shall file our applications. Our clients are not just going to sit there while other people play it out in public yet they are the actual victims in this case.”

The piece of land is at the centre of a legal battle pitting Mr Da Gama Rose and his firm Muchanga Investments Ltd against Habenga Holdings, Jina Enterprises Ltd and Telesource Company Ltd.

The director of surveys, the registrar of titles and the chief lands registrar are also respondents in the case.

COPIES OF TITLES

But on Tuesday, several firms, including Pillarstone Developers Ltd, Wananchi Supplies Ltd and Highway Commodities Ltd, and a number of individuals presented copies of titles they claim they were given by the Ministry of Lands.

The group argued that between 2011 and June this year, the government processed titles for them after the Ministry of Lands authorised transactions between the various parties and Telesource.

Last week, the High Court ordered the police to ensure no transactions or activity happens on the land until the case is dispensed with.

However, those who bought the land from Telesource say they own plots with different registration numbers from the ones mentioned in court.

“The order was to stop people from either selling or doing anything on the property 3586/3. By 2011, Telesource, which is the third defendant in this matter, had sold the land to other parties,” said Mr Ombeta.

He added: “They have not been issued with court orders; they need to know why these policemen are here. They spent a lot of money bringing materials here but their projects are being stopped.”

Telesource is said to have subdivided the land into plots in 2005 before it started selling them to 180 parties from 2011. The last title was issued in June.

On Sunday, Cord vowed to appear before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to table “documented evidence” on how the land was allegedly converted from public to private ownership.

Yesterday, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko denied he benefited from the land in Karen. In a statement, Mr Sonko defended his campaign against land grabbing. He said he had only been involved in the Karen matter when the widow of former Nairobi provincial commissioner John Mburu sought his help to stop her land being grabbed.

“Though I am not an advocate, the widow gave me all the necessary documents and authority to pursue the matter on her behalf,” he said.

He added: “To be spotted at the scene doesn’t mean that I was bent on grabbing the land in question. I have been successfully fighting for the repossession of public land and schools for a couple of years now.”

SOURCE: DAILY NATION

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