Ex-Kayole chief charged with grabbing Sh944m land
A former Kayole Chief was today arraigned at a Milimani court over allegations of fraudulent acquisition of a land situated in Donholm, Nairobi valued at Sh 944 million.
However, Hoops Shihemi Alexander did not take plea after his lawyer informed Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku that they had obtained stay orders on criminal proceedings involving him.
The suspect informed the court that Justice James Makau had stayed the case pending the hearing and determination of the petition challenging his prosecution.
Following this, Mutuku directed that the matter be mentioned on October 17 for further directions.
Shihemi who is also a chairman of Sowesava self-help group is alleged to been the ringleader and mastermind of land grabbing cartels that have been fronting as self-help groups, whose sole and only purpose is to grab land and have over time caused havoc in Eastlands area of Nairobi.
Prosecution says that him and three others namely Patrobas Awino, Peter Gitau Muiruri and Peter Njoroge Kanika who have since been charged and detained at Industrial Area Remand Prison have been using fake allocation letters/Title documents that cannot be supported by any records at the lands registry.
The suspects are alleged to have further fraudulently prepared title documents in attempt to illegally acquire the property belonging to Gidjoy Investments Ltd.
The activities of the self-styled self-help groups was first exposed by the former Chairman National Land Commission in a report to OCPD Buruburu in April of last year, when it disowned ‘’NLC resolutions’’ purporting to award prime parcels of land to self-help groups in Nairobi.
NLC had dismissed the letters, on whose strength two self-help groups were laying claim to land ownership, as forgeries
According to a charge sheet filed in court by the prosecution Shihemi is accused of conspiring to defraud a piece of land approximately 11.8 acres situated at Donholm and valued at the said price by pretending he had a genuine title deed.
In a different charge, he is accused of making a false letter at allotment intending to defraud Gidjoy Investment Limited land parcel measuring 11.8 acres situated at Donholm valued at Sh 944 million.
The said document was purported to be letter assigned by a land administration officer.
In another count, he allegedly made a fake lease and a fake title deed purporting it to be a genuine lease signed by a land registrar.
For close to two decades, the Embakasi, Savanna and Donholm areas of Nairobi have been plagued by land-grabbing cartels whose operations entail gathering local villagers to invade any undeveloped space without reference to who the genuine owners may be.
Additionally, the villagers are said to pose as needy squatters, who are then coached how to form a ''self-help group'' and demand for the land where they are staying.
The recent escalation in land prices in Nairobi has only added fuel to the activities of these cartels, who are faceless individuals who spare no expense to do whatever it takes to penetrate, influence and manipulate key institutions involved in land management to help them disinherit the genuine owners of the land.
Property owners in this part of Nairobi have for many years had to contend with unending waves of invasions by ‘professional squatters’ usually mobilised by well-heeled wheeler-dealers eyeing other people’s property.
A more recent case that comes to mind was the protracted 10-year ownership tussle pitting a group that is linked to developers of the Greenspan estate and a self-help group named Alfajiri Self Help Group over prime land located in Donholm Nairobi worth over Sh1 billion.
Delivering her judgment in this dispute ELC Case No.313 of 2008, Justice Kossy Bor of the Environment and Land Court ruled that the Sauti Sacco Society Limited was the owner of the parcel of land 82/4264, a block from which a portion was hived and sold to Greenspan Developers Limited.
The court further ruled that the suit property was private land and ceased to exist when it was subdivided into two blocks, noting that Alfajiri Self Help Group cannot lay claim to private property it never owned.