Tycoon Loses Ksh10B Nairobi Land in Tussle With Joho

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    City billionaire Francis Mburu
  • A Nairobi businessman lost a Ksh 10 billion parcel of land in a row pitting him against the Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Corporation (KPTC) and Aftraco Limited, a company linked to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. 

    In the court ruling dated April 22, the judge ruled that an arbitrator was at fault for awarding the parcel to Exclusive Estates Limited (EEL), a firm belonging to tycoon Francis Mburu. The contested land is situated at Jamhuri Estate along Ngong Road in Nairobi. 

    The mediator and city lawyer Zehrabum Janmohamed - on Tuesday, October 10 - had awarded Mburu the land ruling that he had entered into a deal with KPTC to develop the land 30 years ago, thus making him the rightful owner.

    Joho through his lawyers argued that the governor's company had paid KPTC Ksh 152 million as a deposit for the land which was to be sold at Ksh 1.52 billion in 2011 hence making him the legal owner. Janmohamed, however, declared the sale between Aftraco and KPTC null and void. 

    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho meeting the Senate Adhoc Committee on Covid-19 on September 2, 2020
    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho meeting the Senate Adhoc Committee on Covid-19 on September 2, 2020

    After winning the case through the arbitrator, Mburu moved to court to enforce the award and to notify his case of the arbitrator's decision. He was countered by the governor and KPTC which convinced the judge to overrule Janmohamed's decision. 

    The judge stated that Mburu had been awarded the land which he hadn't purchased. She further noted that the agreement between KPTC and Mburu failed to be executed. 

    "There is no doubt that the arbitrator demonstrated bias against Telkom by applying different standards of interpretation of the two agreements. 

    "The introduction of the requirement for strict proof in relation to Telkom as contrasted with her eagerness to make assumptions in favour of Exclusive and Postel amounted to treating the parties before her differently," the judge ruled adding that the arbitrator misused her powers.

    Mburu has been linked to a number of land cases including the controversial sale of a Ksh3.2 billion parcel in Ruaraka to the government. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigated the case in 2018 and handed over the file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP)

    The government is currently constructing an ultra-modern sports complex in the contested land after the Ministries of Sports and Environment signed a collaboration framework to guide utilization and management of the Jamhuri Sports Ground, formerly known as Posta Sports Ground. 

    This is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta's pledge to nurture talent and promote sporting activities in Kenya. 

    "Our focus is to make sure Jamhuri Sports Complex is completed within the set timelines. This will enable us to increase the number of sports training and competition facilities in the country,"Sports CS Ambassador Amina Mohamed said in January 2021.

    Three football pitches, one rugby and hockey fields and an athletics track will be built at the ultra modern complex. 

    The ongoing construction of Jamhuri Sports Complex, Nairobi