Railways scheme stopped from selling Ngara houses
The Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS) has been stopped from selling the 15-acre Ngara Estate until a suit filed by five pensioners who live in some of the units is heard.
Justice Edward Muriithi issued the orders after the five pensioners claimed that the KRSRBS annual general meeting held in April last year only resolved to re-develop Ngara Estate, and not to dispose of the prime property. The judge will hear the case on January 31, 2017.
The five have sued the KRSRBS, Corporate and Pension Trust Services and Kenya Railways Corporation, and hold that they are suing on behalf of several other pensioners who also reside in Ngara Estate.
They hold that the retirement benefits scheme has not given notice to pensioners living in the Ngara Estate Housing units, and that they risk being left homeless if the sale is allowed to proceed.
Neither KRSRBS nor Corporate and Pension Trust Services have responded to the suit.
Kenya Railways Corporation in its response says it relinquished the property to KRSRBS in 2006 hence has no role in the planned sale of Ngara Estate.
“A conservatory order be and is hereby issued against the respondents jointly and severally restraining them from further proceeding with disposing of L.R. Number 209/6507 Ngara Part also known as Ngara Estate,” Justice Muriithi ordered.
The railways workers’ pension scheme plans to sell some of its land parcels around the country to increase liquidity and comply with the Retirement Benefits Authority’s requirement of having only 30 per cent total assets in property.
Land in the Ngara area goes for between Sh200 million to Sh300 million per acre, hence sale of the 15-acre estate could raise between Sh3 billion and Sh4.5 billion.
The Kenya Railways Corporation holds that it has been wrongly enjoined in the suit as it no longer owns Ngara Estate and has no authority over the KRSRBS which is a legal entity.
Lucas Odonya, Jacob Hagoi, Lilian Kasenge, Francis Macharia and Stephen Mokua claim that the planned sale of the land is illegal as it has not been approved through an annual or special general meeting as required by law.