Gachagua in fresh Sh1.2b alleged scam dating 25 years ago
By Geoffrey Mosoku
Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua has been accused of grabbing a five-acre parcel of land belonging to a retired civil servant.
John Ohas, who retired as a director of Physical Planning at the Ministry of Lands 25 years ago, claims the MP fraudulently obtained documents and transferred the disputed plot to his company.
The plot is situated off Mombasa road near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and is estimated at Sh1.5 billion. Ohas, through lawyer Christopher Onchangu, has moved to the High Court seeking orders to cancel the title deed issued to Gachagua.
The case, ELC No. E019, was filed on January 18 at the Environment and Land Court in Nairobi. It was mentioned on February 12 before Justice S. Okong’o who directed that the parties be served and set the hearing date for June 7.
Ohas has listed Gachagua as the First Defendant alongside his wife Dorcas Gachagua, Karandi Farm Limited, Wamunyoro Investment Ltd, Peter Mbugua, Pauline Mulinge, Attorney General, Land Registrar, National Lands Commission, Ministry of Lands, Directors of Physical Planning and Survey and the Nairobi County Government.
Court documents indicate Ohas was allocated the property LR No.209/12077 on February 3, 1994 by then President Daniel arap Moi among four allottees, who included the late arap Taita Towett, Francis Maritim and Afro-Anglo Investment as his neighbours. Ohas, through his company Columbus Two Thousand Ltd, was issued an allotment letter that he accepted by paying Sh50,000 in cash vide receipt No. D448385 and a Sh814,550 cheque No. 150995 through file No. 157048 dated May 16, 1996.
He later contacted director of Survey and a licensed surveyor, G.O. Wayumba, who produced a deed plan No. 192966. In 1996, Ohas says he was taken ill and went for specialised treatment both at home and in the UK for long prompting him to take early retirement. Fake letter Ohas says this is the period Gachagua, with the help of ministry offi cials, acquired a fake allotment letter.
“With the help of Lands officials, they hid file No. 157048, stole the Deed Plan No. 192966 and registered the title IR. No 90923 in the name of Karandi Farm Ltd, Peter Mbugua and Pauline Mulinge.”
Ohas adds: “When my family members who were in a dire need of funds for my treatment tried to access the suit property in order to sell the same, they were chased by youths stationed to guard the property.” In documents attached on June 12, 2012, Mbugua and Ms Mulinge transferred the suit property to Karandi Farm Ltd at Sh24 million.
The fi rm’s directors; Rigathi Gachagua and Dorcas Gachagua signed the deal. The duo later transferred the land to Wamunyoro Investment Ltd where the MP and his wife are still listed as directors.
Ohas claims he reported the issue to the Lands Ministry and later the Directorate of Criminal Investigations where detectives conducted a probe and advised the ministry to cancel the title deed issued to the legislator.
He had also sought the intervention of NLC through a letter dated April 19, 2017 and the Chief Land Registrar. He was advised that it only a proper investigation by DCI and Ethics and AntiCorruption Commission that can lead to cancellation of the land documents.
“NLC made a judgement and upheld that the title in favour of Wamunyoro Investment Ltd and gazetted it in the Kenya Gazette on July 17, 2017.” Two months later, the fi le that had disappeared for Columbus Two Thousand Ltd resurfaced with the Deed Plan missing where a copy of the same was found in the fi le belonging to Gachagua’s company.