Kanu loses attempt to stop sale of iconic Nakuru house


Nakuru's Kanu House headquarters along Mburu Gichua Road in the Central Business District (CBD). FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NMG

Former ruling party Kanu has lost a bid to save its building in Nakuru from an auctioneer’s hammer after its appeal against a High Court ruling that authorised Kenya Power to sell the iconic house was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The independence party has been battling Kenya Power over the structure in the Rift Valley city over unpaid powers bills incurred by Kanu for the eight years it had offices at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

Kanu took possession of KICC in 1995 but was kicked out in 2003 shortly after Mwai Kibaki won the presidency under Narc.

In 2009 the High Court allowed Kenya Power to sell Kanu’s properties to recover the bills, which then stood at more than Sh355 million.

In 2018, the utility said the amount had grown to more than Sh730 million, on top of auctioneer charges that ran into millions of shillings.

The power utility then sought to attach the Nakuru building but four trustees of the party contested the move saying it was a separate entity.

However, the application was rejected by then High Court judge Francis Tuiyott in November 2016 forcing Kanu to appeal against the decision.

“In view of the foregoing, we find and hold that the appeal, having been filed on 7th May 2018, was filed out of time. Consequently, we allow the applicant’s (KPLC) application dated 8th June 2018 and hereby strike out the appeal with costs to the applicant,” Justices Daniel Musinga, Imaana Laibuta and John Mativo said in their ruling.

This was the second attempt by the trustees of the party’s Nakuru branch including John Ngunjiri, Peter Otieno and Charles Maina, to save the building from forced sale. Another application was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in October 2018.

The officials contended that they were the registered trustees of the party’s Nakuru branch, who bought and were registered as the owners of the property.

They further held that the two-storey house along Mburu Gichua Road was a unique property which was irreplaceable. They said they will never recover it once it is sold by Kenya Power.

They argued that if the property was intended for the party, the trustees of the party would have been registered as the owners but they were not.

The court had ruled that the property of the branch belonged to the party and it could be attached. The decision was upheld by Justice Tuiyott.

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