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Barclays bank denies selling Karen land to city tycoon

By PAUL OGEMBA October 1st, 2015 2 min read

Barclays Bank denied that it transferred land in Karen to businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose.

The bank’s head of legal affairs Waweru Mathenge told the court on Wednesday that their records show that the land was transferred in January 1983 but not to Mr Rose.

“We do not have any record showing that Barclays Bank sold the land to Muchanga Limited or when it was sold,” Mathenge said.

Mr Rose had claimed that he bought the land in 1982 from Barclays Bank for Sh1.2 million.

At the time, the bank was holding the 134-acre land in trust for its original owner, the late Arnold Bradley.


Mr Mathenge confirmed that Mr Bradley had left his estates to be managed by the bank and that they only have records of transferring 4-acres to Mr Bradley’s daughter, Annette Bradley, according to his will.

Asked whether they were faithful to Mr Bradley’s will in transferring the Karen land, Mr Mathenge said he was not certain as he did not have a copy of the will.

“What we know is that his file was closed. I cannot confirm whether the estate was in debt or whether his will authorised the bank to sell the land but the records show there were some payments made to his estates after his death,” Mathenge said.

According to Mr Mathenge, the bank would have required consent of Mr Bradley’s family to sell the land but they do not have any records to show they authorised the sale.


The protracted land case was instigated by Mr Rose claiming that some unknown companies had grabbed it and were in the process of subdividing it.

He sued Telesource Com Limited, Habenga Holdings, Jina Enterprises Ltd, Director of Survey, Director of Physical Planning, Ministry of Land, Registrar of Titles and Chief Land Registrar over allegations that they illegally acquired his land.

But the Ministry of Lands raised questions over the legality of Mr Rose’s claim, saying there was no evidence to support it.

Deputy Chief Lands Registrar Geoffrey Birundi said the lands office does not have any records showing the land is registered under Muchanga Investment Ltd.

The lands registrar says the land was originally owned by John Mugo Kamau who legally sold it to Telesource Ltd in 2005.

“Our records show that Telesource is the registered proprietor of the land,” Mr Bundi said.

The hearing continues on October 12.