Railways retirees seek orders to collect Sh453m from Sonko

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Kenya Railways Corporation retirees at Milimani Law Courts during one of their cases in 2015. Photo/PD/CHARLES Mathai

Alphonce Mung’ahu

Retirees of the cash strapped Kenya Railways Corporation (KR) have identified Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko as one of the debtors who owes them Sh453,860,000.

The group is seeking orders to compel trustees who manage their property to recover the money from Sonko.

They accused the governor of irregularly acquiring their property at Upper Hill Nairobi. He has been named as one of the five main purchasers of their property who has not paid the monies to date.

Retirees have not received their monthly pension for 10 months now.

In a case filed at the Environment and Lands Division court by over 7,000 KR retirees seeking to stop the sale of their Sh30 billion estate, Sonko has been accused of fraudulently acquiring the Matumbato property.

Sonko acquired the property through his Matumbato Primix Investments Ltd at a cost of Sh453,860,000. It is in this property where he has been running the Nairobi County from after he was restrained from accessing his City Hall Parlour.

Other defaulters

Through their lawyer Titus Koceyo the retirees have identified other defaulters as Muthurwa Development (Sh105 million), Muthurwa Kenya Power & Lighting (Sh26 million), Valley Road Mahadi Investments (Sh79.9 million) and Muthurwa (Kura) (Sh227,503,348).

Part of Muthurwa Estate was acquired by the current President Uhuru Kenyatta when he was Finance Minister to establish the open air market for hawkers when they tried to decongest the city centre. Also a matatu terminus was built for those public service vehicles which operate in Eastlands.

These default amounts were owed as at December 31, 2019.

The pensioners retirement scheme- the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS) have blamed the trustees appointed by the government for carrying out under-hand deals to deprive them of their properties.

They claim theirs is a closed scheme with no monthly contributions but earn their income through renting of the properties.

Trustees of the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS) are being accused of engaging in an unlawful move to dispose of multi-billion properties owned by the retirees without their approval in Nairobi and Mombasa cities.

Trustees of the KRSRBS are Hellen Karu (chair), Kimathi Maingi, Asava Kadima, Elijah Mokaya, Jacqueline M’mbogha, Henry Toli,  James Kanyeki and Victoria Mulwa.

The retirees through Koceyo are asking the court to compel the trustees to collect over Sh892,270,548 from purchasers of their properties way back in 2015.

They are urging the court to permanently stop the trustees from selling the properties they have advertised the media advert which they have not consented to.

The retirees state the outstanding debt balance stands over Sh1.33 billion inclusive of rent arrears following the disposal of the property of Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS).

Evidence filed in court by the retirees exposes properties sold to government entities which have unfairly withheld payments.

The claimants are also questioning an alleged fraudulent write off of a Sh400 million debt in rent arrears owed by Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) headquarters managed by the retirees.

The case was filed by officials of KRSRBS Fredrick Okwimi Anyasi,  Jackton Malonza, Joseph Mosotta Bikani, Evanson Muhia Gachoho and Harun Simbiri Shamola. 

The trustees have been accused of disposing off the retirees property without their approval.

Named respondents

Anyasi and other officials have named KRSRBS and the trustees as respondents.

The retirees are owners of 13 properties including the Nairobi Railway club which stands on 18 acres.

The petitioners state in the case that the suit properties are subject to fraud and price-fixing as purchasers expressed their interests in the properties as far back as February 2020, two months before any tender was advertised.

 Justice Bernard Eboso directed the case to be heard on June 2 and ordered Koceyo to serve the respondents with court papers.

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