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Goldenscape faces legal action as investors demand Sh18.6b

By Steve Umidha
Thursday, February 25th, 2021
In summary

Thousands of investors who invested in the troubled Goldenscape Greenhouses have given an ultimatum to the firm’s owners demanding that the company refund over Sh18.6 billion of their investments or face court action.

Over 3,000 investors said they would sue owners of the company and its affi liates after they “defaulted on their contractual and moral obligation to pay Sh18.6 billion to thousands of Kenyans who had invested in their numerous projects.”

“We demand swift and stern action to be taken within 30 days, failure to which we are giving our lawyers instructions to commence private prosecution proceedings,” they said through their chairman John Opanda at a media briefi ng yesterday.

Goldenscape founder was last year charged for obtaining money by pretences, conspiracy to defraud, false representation, and issuing bad cheques.

This happened after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched a manhunt against Peter Wangai Muriithi following an expose aired on a local TV station.

Detectives from the DCI on March 12, 2020 raided the company’s offices in Karen, Nairobi and rounded up five staff members for questioning.

The five employees are said to have been in the office during the raid that saw the detectives cart away documents and computers for examination.

A total of 300 people who claim that they invested in the company have since lodged complaints with the DCI with additional 3,000 yesterday joining the legal suit.

According to Mutea Muthuri, lead at Counsel,Mutea Mwange and Associates Advocates who e represents victims in the civil case, they will not tire until justice is done.

“We will not only seek justice but also see that justice is done whether the skies and heavens fall,” he added.

For Goldenscape Greenhouses, the script has been the same for many investors, and it all ends in tears. Most said that only one instalment of promised returns is honoured in the deals, which is intended to be a bait to persuade others about authenticity of the investment.

To hype it, social media platforms come in handy, and sometimes complemented by conventional information platforms, where the agenda is to push the company’s narrative with testimonies of dividends.

Social media

Not surprisingly yesterday, Wangai in a quick rejoinder through his social media platforms said the company will start settling the said amounts from next week.

“Join our CEO live on Facebook on Friday 8pm as he discusses the refunds to our investors from March and onwards and resuming our offices in the second quarter of this year,” he said.The investment by Goldenscape Greenhouses entailed contractual obligations to investors, with an assurance of a Sh550,000 return on a Sh320,000 investment, after six months.

On February 27, 2020, the company through its social media page posted that they will start paying the investors on February 29, 2020. However, according to the investors that never happened.

“We will be paying all our investors their returns on investments on February 29, 2020 and continue with the monthly investment payments as we always do,” the company wrote on Facebook during that time.

“We will start giving back the capital invested by our investors starting from March 20, 2020 which will be done in tranches of course. We are very optimistic our company will resume normal operations very soon more so when our financiers release the funds to us,” it added.

“The investors who will receive their capital back will be the ones who are willing to terminate their contracts. We remain committed to serving you.”

On the day of payment last year, the company sent investors emails with amended contracts with reduced returns and contract period.

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