Former Internal Security assistant minister Stephen Tarus faces a fight to block the auction of his Karen home in Nairobi over a Sh70 million NIC Bank #ticker:NCBA loan.
In a notice published in local dailies on Monday, Garam Investment Auctioneers invited potential buyers of the plush home to attend a fire sale to be held next Tuesday.
Mr Tarus served as an assistant minister during President Mwai Kibaki’s administration. He also served as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia between 2009 and 2012 after losing his bid to be re-elected as MP for Emgwen in 2007. He had served as the Member of Parliament for Emgwen Constituency between 2003 and 2007.
His double-storey home sits on a 0.4708-hectare parcel of land in the upmarket Karen suburb and has more than five bedrooms.
Business Daily could not immediately reach Mr Tarus for comment on the planned auction as his phone was switched off. However, insiders involved the matter told Business Daily that property would be sold to offset a bank loan.
The former MP’s wife, Jane Jeptanui Rotich, had last February pushed back a similar attempt to sell off the home by the bank after she successfully petitioned the court. The dispute involved NIC Bank bid’s to sell the home over non-payment of Sh75 million loan owed by Prayosha Ventures Limited, which is linked to the former assistant minister.
Ms Rotich, who identified herself as Mr Tarus’ wife in court documents, had successfully appealed to the court to stop the sale, arguing that it was the matrimonial home where three of their children, Martin Kipchumba Kiyeny (aged 22 years), Getrude Jeptoo Tarus (aged 20 years) and a minor, had lived for the last 15 years.
“The plaintiff/applicant claims to be the wife of Stephen Kipkiyeny Tarus who is the 2nd defendant. She claims to have gotten married to the 2nd defendant in 1994 and later on, formalised the marriage through a church wedding on 23-11-2003. She further states that they have three children from their union,” court documents read.
Ms Rotich had argued that she bought the property jointly with her husband and added that at no time did she give the former diplomat consent to charge the house for the loan.
“That she purchased the parcel of land known as L. R. NO. 2259/463 (IR NO. 86846) (hereinafter referred to as the suit property) jointly with her husband and constructed thereon their residential house where they currently reside with their children,” she had told the court.
“That she participated in the construction of their family house situated on the suit property. That her entire family currently resides on the suit property, which has been their home since 2005. She states that at no single time did she give her husband and/or any of the other defendants herein spousal consent to charge the suit property.”
But NIC had argued that the former MP had freely and voluntarily executed a spousal consent on June 24, 2015 to charge the property against the loan.
Ms Rotich had, however, argued that “her matrimonial rights over the properties overrides those of the bank.”
In a ruling dated February 22, 2019, Justice Antony Ombwayo had barred the auction pending a full hearing of the case.
“The upshot of the above is that the application is allowed and I do grant orders an order of injunction against the 1st defendant by itself, servants, agents from selling, offering for sale, advertising, alienating, transferring by public auction or private treaty, disposing off or otherwise completing by conveyance transfer of any sale concluded by public auction or private treaty taking possession, appointing receivers or exercising any power conferred by section 90(3) of the Land Act, 2012, leasing, letting, charging or otherwise interfering with all that land parcels known as L. R. NO. 2259/463 (IR. No. 86846) pending hearing and determination of the suit,” the judge had ruled.
Last week, former Cabinet minister Gideon Ndambuki stepped up a fight to block the auction of his six-storey hotel in Machakos town over a Sh80 million loan.
Garam Investment Auctioneers invited potential buyers to bid for the prime property known as Roof Garden Hotel, which is located near Kenyatta Stadium and sits on 0.0389 hectares.
Mr Ndambuki served as Planning and National Development minister during President Daniel arap Moi’s administration.
He unsuccessfully vied for the Makueni gubernatorial seat and was later appointed chairman of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in 2017.