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Passaris in court to stop her landlord from selling Kitusuru home

Esther Passaris, the founder of street lighting company Adopt-A-Light, is fighting in court to retain her palatial Kitusuru home after realising her landlord has sold it to a third party.

Ms Passaris has accused Alka Roshanlal Hanspal of reneging on terms of their lease agreement in refusing to sell her the house she moved into in September 2006.

The businesswoman moved to court in September last year after discovering that Ms Hanspal had sold the house to Charles and Grace Kanyuga.

Ms Hanspal issued the Adopt-a-Light founder with a notice to vacate in 2009 after the lease expired, and filed a suit seeking to evict her.


Ms Passaris in response asked the court to compel Ms Hanspal to sell the house to her. She filed another suit last year seeking to revoke the sale to Mr and Ms Kanyuga.

“The purported sale and transfer of the suit property to Mr and Ms Kanyuga is illegal and a fraud by Ms Hanspal and an attempt to defeat Ms Passaris’ claim for specific performance of the lease agreement. Ms Passaris prays for an order revoking registration of the property to Mr and Ms Kanyuga,” she says.

Ms Passaris says the lease was only to last until the late businessman had reclaimed the land title from Oriental Commercial Bank. She was to purchase it after expiry of the lease for Sh35 million.

She now says Ms Hanspal has transferred the title to herself and wants to illegally sell the land to a third party.

Ms Passaris wants Ms Hanspal to either sell the house to her, or compensate her for the rent she has paid since 2009, alongside land rates and damages which so far amount to Sh77 million.

The plaintiff last week lost a bid to have Ms Hanspal and her lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui jailed for selling the land despite an existing order to maintain status quo.


Ms Passaris says her landlord sold the land despite an order barring the same. She also accused Ms Hanspal of hiring goons to intimidate her into vacating the house.

Justice Mary Gitumbi however ruled that there was no evidence that Ms Hanspal was guilty of the allegations.

“Ms Passaris has on her own admission stated that she has proceeded to erect structures on the property without the sanction of the court or County Government. Further, I am unconvinced that Ms Hanspal engaged in any of the acts that Ms Passaris alleges,” the judge said in her ruling.