Portland surrenders land to stop KCB Sh6.6 debt auction
East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) has finally surrendered part of its land that was used as collateral to secure a loan from KCB Bank to repay its debt.
The 745-acre piece of land LR 8786 situated in Athi River, Mavoko sub-County in Machakos has already been transferred to the lender to repay its Sh6.6 billion debt that has been accruing Sh600 million interest annually.
According to an inside source, the move was arrived at to protect the cement maker from being auctioned by the lender.
KCB has moved with speed to facilitate the disposal of the property to recover its money.
The lender has contracted Antidote Agencies Ltd and Tyson Ltd to manage the sale process on its behalf.
The two sub-contracted companies will help in consultation and mobilising potential land buyers.
On Wednesday, the management team called for a public participation meeting where squatters residing in the piece of land were to meet the bank’s management team.
However, the meeting was cancelled by security apparatus on grounds of Covid-19 safety protocols.
The bank through its management team has said occupants of the land will be given first priority in purchasing the land.
It has also spelt out the procedure potential buyers will be subjected to including subdivision, application, allocation of offer letters, payment of deposit, sale agreement, payment of balance and issue of title by KCB.
The squatters have expressed fear if the lender engages brokers they might be short changed.
They fear the price of the land will go up more than its current value and that members register might be tampered with.
“We are glad that KCB has come out clearly that we as occupants of this land will be given first priority in acquisition of the property.
However, we are much worried that the exercise will be marred with irregularities if brokers are involved,” they said.
“We are also worried that engaging brokers will increase the land prices beyond its current value.
Brokers are also likely to tamper with members register for their selfish interest,” said Stanley Kasyoki, the squatters’ patron.
The squatters have been living in the piece of land which is part of the 12,000 acre piece of land owned by EAPCC since 2010 after the cement maker announced it was intentions to sell the land after it exhausted its mining activities.