Hundreds of investors who bought former spymaster James Kanyotu’s land in Ruiru risk losing millions of shillings after heirs of the intelligence chief moved to court seeking their eviction.
The 500-acre Kangaita Coffee Estate, whose current value is estimated at more than Sh10 billion, is located in Ruiru, Kiambu County.
In an application, administrators of the vast estate have urged the court to grant orders to kick out those who bought portions of the land in defiance of a Caveat Emptor (buyer-beware) notice published in the newspapers.
In their motion filed at Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts, Margaret Nyakinyua and Mary Wanjiku, widows of the deceased, are urging the High Court to cancel all the titles issued to persons and companies who bought their land at the coffee estate.
They state in the case filed under a certificate of urgency that they are facing danger of losing the farm to third parties unless orders are granted.
The land in dispute is next to Ruiru Police Station. They are urging the court to compel the Officer Commanding Ruiru Police Station to enforce orders barring anybody from buying the land and also order preservation of the vast farm.
The widows state that they did not authorise any sale nor subdivision of the land to Trendsetters Investments Limited, Mariot Africa International Limited or any other person or third party claiming ownership.
“Any such persons, prospective and interested parties are therefore warned that any dealings related to the said property are void abinitio (of no legal effect) and are taken at your own risk,” the widows stated in the notice published on May 30, 2019. “The land is still subject of litigation.”
The administrators are asking the court to restrain those who have bought the land, among them senior security officers, from transferring or selling the land to third parties.
The widows stated in the notice that members of the public should be warned that the land is subject of litigation and whoever buys a portion of it risks losing their money.
Further, they are asking the court to invoke its inherent jurisdiction to cancel all the titles issued following irregular sub-division of the farm.
Ms Nyakinyua has sworn an affidavit in support of the cases, urging the court to reiterate orders issued by Chief Justice David Maraga (when he was High Court judge) and three other judges barring the sale and subdivision of the farm registered as Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited. In the evidence filed in court, she says that a Deliverance Church branch was involved in the sale of the land with senior security officers being among the illegal beneficiaries.
She has presented to the court a list of titles issued between 2014 and 2019 for cancellation, saying those who bought the land did so in total contravention of the orders of the CJ, Justice George Ndulu, Justice Roselyn Nambuye and Justice Luka Kimaru.
Ms Nyakinyua, who has named Trendsetters, the Principal registrar and the Attorney-General as respondents, states they will suffer no prejudice if the inhibition and preservations orders prayed for are granted.
Several suits over the multi-billion shilling properties of the late Mr Kanyotu have been filed since 2008 when he passed on.