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EACC joins Sh700m Mombasa land row

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Integrity Centre that hosts Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Summary

  • In the case, the KPA Retirement Benefit Scheme (KPARBS) is seeking to recover Sh70 million that had already been paid to Kikambala Development Company Ltd.
  • While allowing EACC to participate in the case, Environment and Land Court Judge Sila Munyao noted that the agency has displayed a public element to the dispute.
  • EACC argued that it has carried out investigations that have revealed that KPARBS trustees corruptly entered into the agreement to purchase the property, which comprises 15 plots valued at a total of Sh700 million.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has joined a Sh700 million botched land sale dispute pitting the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) pension scheme against a Mombasa land selling company.

In the case, the KPA Retirement Benefit Scheme (KPARBS) is seeking to recover Sh70 million that had already been paid to Kikambala Development Company Ltd. The company in turn claims the scheme breached contract terms and wants to be paid damages.

While allowing EACC to participate in the case, Environment and Land Court Judge Sila Munyao noted that the agency has displayed a public element to the dispute.

EACC argued that it has carried out investigations that have revealed that KPARBS trustees corruptly entered into the agreement to purchase the property, which comprises 15 plots valued at a total of Sh700 million.

“It is for that reason only that I will allow EACC to be joined to this suit as interested party. I will also allow them liberty to call witnesses and adduce evidence that may assist this court in arriving at a just determination,” said Justice Munyao.

EACC has informed the court that it has instituted a case in Nairobi for the recovery of the Sh70 million that had already been paid out.

Kikambala Development Company Ltd sued the scheme in 2020, saying it breached an agreement to pay a 10 percent deposit on the land and the balance within three months.

The firm said that as a result, it rescinded the agreement.

“The plaintiff seeks a declaration that the defendant breached the agreement for sale and damages for breach of contract,” the company said in its court documents.

The scheme admitted there was a sale agreement but pleaded that the firm did not have an interest that could be transferred to it before the completion date and that it also failed to assemble all the completion documents.

The scheme further revealed it established that the suit property was owned by another firm known as Amkeni Farm Limited.

“The scheme has established that the firm did not own the land but wished to utilise the sale transaction so as to purchase from Amkeni Farm Limited the same land for Sh430 million,” KPARBS said.

The scheme further argued that the 10 per cent deposit it had paid was to be held by the firm’s advocate, but that in breach of the agreement, the money was disbursed to three companies namely Amkeni Farm limited (Sh43 million), Seline Consultants Ltd (Sh22 million) while Sh5 million was invested in British American Asset Managers Limited.

It further argued that it considered the transaction to be a commercial fraud and asked for an order directing the firm to refund it the Sh70 million it paid as deposit and general damages for breach of contract.

But the company argued that the agreement for sale had been entered into and executed after the scheme, through its trustees, had confirmed that it had an equitable interest in the suit properties.

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