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Centum defends Two Rivers land deal in Koinange family dispute

Two Rivers Mall
Two Rivers Mall on February 28, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Centum #ticker:ICDC has vowed to defend ownership of the land where Two Rivers Mall stands after one of the widows of late Cabinet minister Mbiyu Koinange questioned the Sh1.1 billion deal.

In an affidavit filed in court ahead of the distribution of the estate of Mr Koinange, Ms Eddah Wanjiru Mbiyu said a re-survey of the land sold to three parties among them Centum will help in establishing the proper acreage available for distribution. However, Centum has said it is not party to the ongoing case.

Some members of the Koinange family, which is locked in vicious court fight over multibillion- shilling assets, are questioning the size of the land sold to Centum. But Centum has hit back, arguing its purchase was approved and supervised by the High Court, which is handling the Koinange family succession fights.

“Centum and or any of its affiliates remains ready to defend its rightful possession of the said property,” said Centum in a statement signed by its CEO, James Mworia. “However, neither Centum nor Two Rivers Development Ltd (TRDL) have received any notice from the administrators of the estate of Mbiyu Koinange… indicating any grievance regarding the joint survey that was done by Centum and the Mbiyu Koinange family”.

Some of the family members want Centum to pay for additional land if found to have bought more than the 100 acres. Centum, however, said the transaction was amicably closed in July 2010 through a process supervised by the High Court.

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Ms Wanjiru had said that during a site visit, a Mr James Mwarari Gatome had suggested for an independent surveyor to verify the actual acreage occupied by Centum Ltd.

Centum bought the land for Sh1.1 billion in 2010 and used the property to build the Two Rivers Mall, its subsidiary.

The Two Rivers land was under a property known as Closeburn, which had 600 acres that has recently been subdivided.

About 260 acres of the property were sold to an international investment group and another 100 acres to Centum Investment. The remaining 240 acres are valued at Sh2.88 billion.

The daughter of Koinange, Lenah, was accused of hiving off another 88 acres of land adjacent to Two-Rivers Mall, considered the most prime asset among the properties of the late minister. Centum is not party to the suit.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to add details that Centum it is not party to the Koinange land suit.

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