Inside Politics

Why land remains the best bet for investment despite hiccups

Friday, August 27th, 2021 00:00 |
Sarah Wahogo, Acting CEO, Safaricom Investment Co-operative (SIC).

Q    What’s your opinion about land investment in Kenya?

Land ownership has proven to be a worthy investment for many Kenyans. With the value of land appreciating everyday, most people have found this to be a better avenue of planning for their future.

The perception of only owning land within our ancestral areas has also quite shifted with a majority of Kenyans now open to owning land in cities and towns where they either work or reside. 

Q    Does the current legislations and policies support land investment in the country?

Legislation on land ownership is quite favourable for all investors. Anyone can either own land on free hold basis if they are a citizen or a permanent resident or on leasehold basis if the investor is a foreigner. 

Q    SIC has embarked on various projects, what’s the progress?

Over the years, we have embarked on different land and housing projects. So far, we have successfully completed three housing projects; Rongai Villas in Ongata Rongai, Ruaka Ridge in Ruaka and Blue Bells in Syokimau. W

e are also in the process of launching a major affordable housing project that will also be based in Ruaka, Kiambu County.

Our lands projects on the other hand have also really advanced. We currently have over a 100 complete and ongoing projects in major cities and town across the country including Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Kisumu, Nanyuki, Eldoret, Kwale, Kilifi, Nakuru, Naivasha, and Narok counties. 

Q    This sector has a lot of challenges, fraud included. How is SIC protecting its members from this vice?

To be honest, this is a challenge that we have been through and are still learning from our past experiences.

From this, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that we perform thorough background searches and due diligence before taking up any project.

We also work with a team of duly registered advocates who help us with the processing of the transfers.

We also understand that some fraud issues might arise through communications channels.

We have therefore ensured that we have an able customer service team who send out communication from either our official e-mail or telephone numbers. 

Q     Tinga project has raised a lot controversy, highlight the issue and what is been done to address it?

This has been one of our toughest projects as the purchase process was compromised. This has resulted in us halting the project and get the relevant authorities to investigate the matter.

As it was not our intention to keep our investors on hold for this long, we have organised physical meetings for them to come and hear us out then agree on a way forward. 

Q    Did your members lose money at Tinga project and how are they been compensated?

We can guarantee that no investor has lost their money. We are currently deliberating on the matter and offering alternative options to the investors.

We are also offering them very generous discounts on some of the projects that are in stock. 

Q    How do you handle customer complaints?

We have our official communication channels. Clients can either share their requests, ideas or grievances through our official e-mail or telephone lines.

We are really working on ensuring that we respond to all questions or issues on a case by case basis but also in a timely manner.

We also have a live chat section on our website where clients can ask questions and get instant assistance.

Our diaspora clients are also catered for as we have set up a specific e-mail and telephone number that they can reach us through anytime. 

Q      What is the future like for SIC in terms of expansion and new projects?

We have experienced tremendous growth over the years and we aim to make each experience an educational one.

As I had mentioned earlier, we have ongoing and completed projects in most major towns and cities within the country and we are working to penetrate other counties as well.

We recently also got into property management which has picked up very well. We would like to assure our clients that we are the investment vehicle of choice in East Africa. 

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