Danish citizen claims stake in high-end Kajiado lodge

A Danish national is locked in a court battle with a South African businessman for control of a high-end lodge situated in the 67,000-acre land owned by Nguruman Ltd, which is itself fighting off attempts by some Kajiado residents to acquire the property.

Jan Bonde Nielsen has accused South African businessman Herman Steyn and Nguruman Ltd of defying a court order barring them from interfering with the lodge that sits on a 10-acre parcel of land.

He says they have blocked access roads to the lodge, which he says was developed as a joint venture between him and Mr Steyn.

“As a result of the defendants’ unlawful action, access to Ol Donyo Laro has been wholly blocked. I am unable to deliver essential supplies to Ol Donyo Laro including food, water and medical supplies for staff,” said Mr Nielsen in suit papers.

Nguruman has, however, denied Mr Nielsen’s claim to the ranch, arguing that it only appointed him manager of the lodge in 1999 upon Mr Steyn’s intervention.

In yet another case related to the land, National Land Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri has been stopped from revoking a title deed belonging to Nguruman, which is engaged in a land ownership row with a section of Kajiado County residents.

Justice Charles Kariuki granted the orders on Tuesday in an application filed by Nguruman Ltd, which claimed that it became aware of a letter recommending the revocation of their title through Kajiado governor David Nkedienye on November 10.

Rates at the disputed high-end lodge range at about $250,000 (Sh22 million) a week.

“Initially he [Nielsen] would operate in secrecy exclusively for his close friends and high-end clients. Thereafter he embarked on a slanderous campaign overseas claiming that his family built the Ol Donyo Laro lodge,” says Nguruman in its response to the court case.

Justice Jacqueline Kamau will hear the matter next month.

Nguruman claims that the letter recommending the revocation of the title was allegedly prepared by Kajiado North Sub County Lands registrar Ruphus Kalama, upon being instructed by Mr Swazuri.

Nguruman Ltd claimed that the letter was copied to local politicians.