Court battle over Sh3bn land in Runda deepens


Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Investors have been warned against dealing with a 16.7-acre piece of land in Nairobi’s Runda worth over Sh3 billion as a battle for the prime property rages in court.

Businessman David Kimani has published a caveat emptor—a notice warning potential buyers against dealing with a specific property—as he seeks the court’s intervention in an ownership row pitting him against Kiambu Mall owner Peter Burugu, collapsed Postbank Credit and Williams & Kennedy Limited.

Mr Kimani says in court papers that he published the notice after an attempt by Mr Burugu to evict him from the land where workers were allegedly developing structures for various businesses.

He has sued Mr Burugu and Jumchem Healthcare Limited.

In his response, Mr Burugu claims that his Jumchem Healthcare Limited has been in possession of the property since 2007 when it purchased the land from Postbank Credit.

He adds that Postbank Credit sold the land to recover a Sh9 million loan owed by Williams & Kennedy Limited.

While Mr Burugu argues that Williams & Kennedy Limited is owned by Francis Nganga and his wife, records at the Companies’ Registry indicate that the firm’s shareholders are the estate of Leslie Keith Savage, Mr John Michael Williams and Mr George Michael Kennedy.

Mr Kimani argues that after the attempt to evict him from the land, a note was posted on a gate at the site asking any parties with inquiries to contact Mr Burugu.

“Upon noticing Mr Burugu’s writing on the wall that I have constructed on the suit property, I caused to be published in the Daily Nation edition of Friday November 1, 2019, a notice or caveat emptor to the effect that I am the lawful owner of the suit property and that no one should transact or purport to confer interest on third parties without my consent,” Mr Kimani says in court papers.

Mr Burugu holds that the land was originally owned by City Park designer Henry Powell Greensmith who sold it to Williams & Kennedy Ltd.

He adds that Mr Nganga and his wife bought Williams & Kennedy Ltd hence took over its assets in 1983.

But Mr Kimani insists that the land was originally part of the Saint Benoist Plantation which sold it to Basil George Mitton, who transferred it to Zena Grace Lindsey.

Mr Kimani says he bought the land from Ms Lindsey in the year 2000 and has been living on it with his family since then.

Williams & Kennedy Ltd has separately sued Postbank Credit and Mr Burugu over the land.

Last week, High Court judge Mary Kasango adjourned the Williams & Kennedy Ltd’s suit after Mr Kimani sought to be enjoined.

Mr Kimani wants the Williams & Kennedy Ltd suit suspended until his case against Mr Burugu and Jumchem has been determined.

Mr Kimani argues that his suit against Mr Burugu could see all transactions done by Williams & Kennedy Ltd, Postbank Credit and Mr Burugu involving the land rendered null and void.