Former Nairobi PC widow joins court fight over Karen land

A court has allowed the widow of Nairobi’s first provincial commissioner to lay claim on the controversial 134-acre land in Karen.

Mrs Carmelina Mburu claimed before Lady Justice Lucy Nyambura Gacheru Tuesday that the land belonged to her late husband, Godhard John Mburu, and that he did not transfer the prime property to Muchanga Investment Limited.

Lawyer Catherine Njeri Ng’ang’a said she holds the power of administration over property owned by the 81-year-old-widow and that it belonged to the late Mburu on a lease of 999 years.

“The land was irregularly and fraudulently transferred to third parties without the knowledge of John Mburu or Carmelina Mburu. There is sufficient reason to believe that Muchanga Investment Ltd obtained the title fraudulently,” said Ms Ng’ang’a.

She added that lawyer Francis Da Gama Rose, who was the late Mburu’s advocate, never communicated any transfer of the land to the widow.

Former National Social Security Fund boss Jos Konzolo, the director of Telesource Limited which is also claiming ownership of the land valued at Sh8 billion, defended his acquisition of the property.

Lady Justice Gacheru Tuesday also allowed an application by Muchanga Investment Limited to join Barclays Bank Limited in the proceedings. The company, through lawyer Cecil Miller, argued that the bank was the executor of the Will of the late Arnold Bradley who originally owned the land and later transferred it to Muchanga Limited.

“In December 1982, Barclays Bank transferred the property to Muchanga Investment Ltd at a considerable sum of Sh1.2 million. They are therefore a necessary party in the suit as they will shed light on the acquisition of the land,” said Mr Miller.

Detectives are probing how ownership of the 134 acres opposite Hillcrest Schools, along Langata Road, changed hands.

The protracted court dispute was instigated by businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose, through his company Muchanga Investments Limited, claiming that some unknown companies had grabbed his farm and were in the process of subdividing it.

He sued Telesource Com Limited, Habenga Holdings, Jina Enterprises Ltd, Director of Survey, Director of Physical Planning, Ministry of Land, Registrar of Titles and Chief Land Registrar over allegations that they acquired his land illegally.

The Ministry of Land in its response to the suit said that the land belongs to Mr Konzolo’s company and not Muchanga Investment Limited.

This article was published by the BUSINESS DAILY on November 11, 2014