Jubilee bigwig named in attempt to grab city building
A top official in the Jubilee administration and two Nairobi politicians were on Thursday implicated in Wednesday morning’s violent attempt to evict tenants and take over a prime building on Nairobi’s Kenyatta Avenue.
Investigations revealed that the dawn raid on the three-storey Caxton House was planned and executed by more than 200 gangsters hired by the two city politicians to evict the tenants and pave way for the transfer of the property to the senior government official.
Aware that the property’s lease expired in 2007 and is yet to be renewed, the top government official is said to be scheming to dispossess the original owner of the property by arm-twisting the National Land Commission (NLC) not to renew the lease and instead, transferring it to his proxy.
It is a strategy used by land sharks to gain possession of prime land or property from their original owners by colluding with Ministry of Lands officials not to renew expired leases.
NLC Vice-Chairperson Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe confirmed that the building belonged to a private company, Sayani Investments Ltd.
She also said that the property’s lease had expired and the owners had sought its renewal, a request the commission had accepted.
“As a commission, we will follow the law on leases that have expired. This particular lease expired in 2007 and the owner, Sayani Investments applied for renewal. The commission has already given consent for the lease to be renewed and we really don’t know where the delay is coming from,” she said by phone.
Ms Mukolwe said the law gave preference to the existing owner and challenged those out to take over the property to provide evidence of ownership, adding that they had documents to prove ownership of the property.
One of the raiders who was arrested by police is said to have implicated former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua in the raid that left one person dead and scores nursing serious injuries inflicted upon them by the eviction squad.
“When we asked him who had hired them to evict tenants, one of the raiders retorted; ulizeni Simon Mbugua (ask Simon Mbugua), said a journalist who was at the scene on Wednesday morning.
Mr Mbugua, however, denied any involvement in the raid and accused his political detractors of dragging his name into the saga to discredit him.
“I am not an auctioneer, I do not own an eviction company and I am not the owner of Caxton House. So how do I come in? My businesses are well known, so people should stop dragging my name into this matter,” he said by phone.
Court papers showed that in 2011, one of the tenants, Express Bakery Ltd went to court seeking orders restraining Sayani Investments Ltd from evicting them from the building.
Restraint orders were issued against Sayani Investments and one Zerekhanu Haiderali Kanji Sayani on September 1, 2011.
Central police boss Paul Wanjama refused to comment on reports that top politicians were involved in the raid.