Mystery over Sh8b Karen land saga deepens

Fresh details have emerged again pointing to the possibility of rampant fraud in the acquisition and transfer of the controversial Sh8 billion Karen land.

Court documents in the possession of The Standard on Sunday point to an intricate web of mystery, including an alleged sale of the land by a colonial settler, five years after his well-documented death.

Court documents meant to provide proof of ownership and purchase history of the land show that a Mr Arnold Bradley transferred the 134.4 acre parcel of land to a Mr John Mugo Kamau on August 24, 1978.

Mr Bradley died on October 22, 1973. What more? The lawyer alleged to have witnessed the transfer of this contentious land on the said date had been certified dead 18 years earlier.

According to the Kenya Gazette notice No. 4131 published on September 6, 1960, Fredrick Hurligh Hopley, the lawyer who oversaw the transaction, died on July 2, 1960 in Nairobi, almost two decades before drafting the transfer of the property.

These transfer documents were attached on an affidavit filed by former NSSF managing trustee Jos Konzolo, who through his Limited, claims to have acquired the land from Mugo Kamau on October 21, 2005.

"That the property known as L.R No 3586/2/3 (currently known as LR. No. 3586/3) was transferred to John Mugo on August 24, 1978 vide a certificate of Title IR31187 and the title was issued on March 2, 1978," Konzolo's affidavit through Gikera & Vadgama Advocates dated December 18, 2014 states.

However, Muchanga Limited director Horatius Da Gama Rose has raised questions on the authenticity of the new documents which he says are clearly fraudulent.

Muchanga Limited also claims ownership of the said piece of land. "The alleged transfer of the suit property from Arnold Bradley to John Mugo Kamau is clearly fraudulent as it is purported to have been executed on August 23, 1978 which is after Arnold Bradley died on October 22, 1973 and Grant of Probate was issued by the Court on 24th July 1974," Da Gama Rose, through lawyer Cecil Miller, argues in court documents.

The businessman argues that the said transfer to Mugo should be declared fraudulent, illegal and void since it was purportedly drawn by Solicitor Hopley who had died 18 years before the transaction.