MP Rigathi Gachagua sued in Sh1.5bn land row


Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A retired civil servant has moved to court seeking the revocation of a title to a parcel of land in Nairobi worth Sh1.5 billion owned by Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

In the suit pending before the Environment and Land Court, John Michael Ohas, a former director of physical planning at the Land ministry says the title registered in the name of Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, a company linked to the MP, was obtained fraudulently.

Documents filed in court state that Mr Ohas was allocated the plot near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in 1994 by former President Daniel arap Moi.

Mr Ohas said he was among four allottees who included former minister Taita Towett, Francis Maritim and Afro-Anglo Investment.

Through his lawyer, he said he was allocated the land through his company Columbus Two Thousand Ltd and paid Sh50,000 after accepting the offer in May 1996.

Mr Ohas said he later contacted the director of survey and a licenced surveyor G.O. Wayumba who produced a deed plan.

But he fell sick sometimes in 1996 and flew to the UK for specialised treatment and while he was away, Mr Rigathi with the help of officials from the Land ministry allegedly acquired a fake allotment letter.

Mr Ohas says when his family members who were in dire need of funds for his treatment tried to access the property to sell it, they were allegedly chased away by hired goons.

The plot was later transferred to Karandi Farm Ltd for Sh24 million. Those who signed the deal as directors of Karandi Farm Ltd are Mr Rigathi and Dorcas Gachagua. The two later transferred the land to Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, where the MP and his wife are listed as directors.

Mr Ohas says he reported the matter to the Land ministry and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

“Since the investigations by the DCI was completed and a fraud established, they instructed the Department of Land to recommend the cancellation of the fraudulent title and issue a genuine one to Columbus Two Thousand Ltd,” he said in a sworn statement.

He says they later planned for meetings at the Land office, to rectify the anomaly but Mr Rigathi did not turn up on three occasions, forcing him to move to court.

He has listed Mr Rigathi, Dorcas, Karandi Farm Limited, Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, Peter Mbugua, Pauline Mulinge, Attorney-General, Land registrar and National Lands Commission, among others, as respondents in the case.

Justice Samson Okong’o last week directed Mr Ohas’s lawyer to serve the respondents and set the hearing for June 7.