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President Kenyatta kin Sh3b land case takes dramatic twist

The mystery surrounding the auction of a Sh3 billion estate belonging to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s relatives deepened Monday, with the High Court owning up that it does not have the original consent order that paved way for the sale of the property.

The estate was sold by a bank over an oustanding loan of Sh70 million.

PROBE

Deputy Registrar of the High Court, Civil Division, Lydiah Mbacho wrote to the police asking them to investigate the consent order signed in court in May 4, 1992.

Through the consent order, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) was allowed to execute its statutory power of selling the over the 443 acres under coffee in Kiambu County. The land had been offered as collateral.

But Benjoh Amalgamated Ltd and Muiri Coffee Estate have maintained all through there was no “consent in the first place and therefore the sale of the land was illegal”.

A photocopy of the said consent that has been relied upon for the last 26 years has raised serious questions on its acceptability.

The purported consent order was set aside by Justice Erastus Githinji  and reinstated by the Court of Appeal.

The prime land was sold to Bidii Kenya Limited at a throw away price by KCB on the strength of the consent.

The revelation by Ms Mbacho that there was no trace of the original consent throws the dispute into a spin as it exposes the top lender. Benjoh had for the last 25 years maintained that the consent order was a forgery.

CONSENT

Police moved in to investigate the court order after lawyer Gedion Kaumbuthu Meenye, who is said to have signed the consent on behalf of Benjoh Amalgamated Limited and Muiri Coffee Estate, distanced himself from the litigation stating “ at no time did I act for the two companies”.

In an affidavit filed at the Court of Appeal last month, Mr Meenye divulged that “ in his legal practice, he has never been instructed by Benjoh nor Muiri to act for them and neither was he instructed by the lawyer on record D, M Kinyua, to hold or watch his brief in any of the 18 cases filed in court.”

Mr Meenye wrote to the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet inviting police intervention as “it baffles me how I could have entered into a consent on a matter which I was not and have never been on record for any of the parties.”

On January  31, police wrote to the Deputy Registrar requesting for  records in respect of the case between Benjoh, Muiri versus KCB to establish the truth.

An earlier move by Benjoh to involve  police was thwarted by Justice David Majanja on March 2012 when he restrained the IG and the DCI from, “arresting, summoning employees or investigating any matter in respect of the dispute between KCB, Benjoh and Muiri.”

Justice Majanja gave the order after an application by KCB, Mr David Kiprop Malakwen (then company secretary) and Wilfred Kipkorir Sang protesting their rights were being infringed.

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