Kamlesh Pattni Resurfaces in Battle for Ksh10B Property

  • Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    (COURTESY)
  • Businessman Kamlesh Pattni has resurfaced with a Ksh10 billion land battle pitting him against the family of his former business partner and long-serving spy chief - the late James Kanyotu. 

    Marriot Africa International Limited, a company associated with Pattni, claims it bought a 500-acre piece of land from Trendsetters Investments Limited. 

    Trendsetters claims it purchased the land in 2010 from Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited, which is associated with Kanyotu.

    The late James Kanyotu, a spy during late President Daniel arap Moi's era
    The late James Kanyotu, a spy during late President Daniel arap Moi's era
    Daily Nation

    Mariot International Limited filed the case in 2019 and named Margaret Nyakinyua Murigu as the first defendant, Mary Wanjiku Kanyotu as the second defendant, Willy Kihara as the third defendant and Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited as the fourth defendant.

    Pattni's company cautioned any businessman from purchasing the piece of land through an advert in the national dailies. 

    On its part, Trendsetters Investments filed documents in court that showed that the directors of Kangaita Coffee Estate, Wanjiku and John Kariuki Kanyotu, sold the land to the company.

    One of Kanyotu's son's Willy Kihara, however, filed documents saying that both Marriot Africa International and Trendsetters were owned and controlled by Pattni.

    He stated that CR12 documents indicated that the two companies shared the same physical and postal address.

    Kihara and other beneficiaries of the property disputed claims that they had sold the piece of land to the company.

    "That the family of the late James Kanyotu did not approve any of the sales and/or transfers and the same have been done illegally under the nose of this honourable court," reads a statement filed by Kihara.

    "That sometime in December 2019, while this matter was still pending, one (name witheld) who said he had been approached by Kamlesh Pattni approached me with an out of court settlement," reads an excerpt of the statement.

    Pattni and the late Kanyotu were former business associates including in Goldenberg International Ltd which later become the subject of the infamous Goldenberg Scandal.

    Goldenberg International, a company owned by Pattni and former spy chief James Kanyotu, would export gold and diamond jewellery and receive compensation from the government for earning foreign exchange.

    It turned out that Goldenberg International was not exporting any gold and diamond jewellery and that the claims were fictitious.

    The transactions were executed in conjunction with Exchange Bank Ltd which was also owned by Pattni and spymaster Kanyotu.

    The scheme which ran for about three years brought the economy to its knees. It is estimated that the country lost up to Ksh100 billion.

    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni
    (COURTESY)