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Kanyotu family protests Patnni deal

By Alphonse Mungahu
Friday, March 5th, 2021
Kamlesh Pattni
In summary

A land deal that renown businessman Kamlesh Pattni allegedly entered into with former spy chief Joseph Kanyotu almost 10 years ago has now returned to haunt him after claims emerged that the pact may have been fraudulently acquired.

One of the late Kanyotu’s sons, Willy Kihara has now written to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti requesting him to commence investigations into alleged fraudulent transfer of a piece of land worth over Sh 10 billion.

In documents tabled before the court, Kihara is asking the DCI to investigate alleged threats made by some unknown persons through his phone in regard to the property number LR 11261/76 belonging to Kangaita Coffee Estate Ltd, a company that was owned by his late father.

In the letter signed by Kihara addressed to the DCI dated January 18, received and stamped at the DCI’s office, Kihara claims that he has enough evidence to prove that the land in dispute was fraudulently transferred from Kangaita Coffee estate to Trendsetters Investment Ltd.

The family of the late Kanyotu and Pattni are fighting over the ownership of a 500-acre parcel of land in Thika town estimated to be worth Sh10 billion.

In his application filed at Thika Environment and Land Court, Kihara, claims that Marriot Africa International Ltd and Trendsetters Investments Ltd are one and the same entity, owned and controlled by Pattni.

Disputed land

Kihara claims that at one point he refused to take an offer amounting to Sh700 million from Pattin so as not to continue pursuing the disputed land.

According to Kihara, copies of CR12 from the Registrar of Companies showed the two companies share the same physical and postal address, which he claims he personally knows belongs to Pattni.

In the dispute, Marriot claims ownership of the land, arguing that it bought it in 2012 from Trendsetters Investments Ltd. On its part, Trendsetters said it purchased the land fromKangaita Coffee Estate Ltd,then owned by Kanyotu forSh700 million in 2011.

The company has tableddocuments showing thatMary Wanjiku Kanyotu andJohn Kariuki Kanyotu, who aredirectors of Kangaita sold theland to Trendsetters.But Kihara has disputedthe sale saying that the land,measuring approximately 205hectares is subject to a succession case, which is pendingbefore the High Court.

Marriot moved to courtlast year seeking to block theKanyotu’s from reclaiming theland.

It named Margaret Nyakinyua Murigu, Mary WanjikuKanyotu, Kihara and KangaitaCoffee Estate as respondentsin the case Part of Kanyotu’s family that has disputed the sale says Kangaita has its bank accounts into which proceeds from the sale of any property belonging to the estate ought to be deposited.

But in the case of the land in Thika, no money was deposited into any of the accounts for distribution to the beneficiaries or settlement of estate debts.

In an affidavit filed in court, Kihara further reveals that sometimes last December, Pattni approached him through a proxy for an out-ofcourt settlement of the dispute.

Kihara claims in his request that all the documents filed in court by Trendsetters Investment and Marriot Africa International Ltd are fake and forgeries.

He says the alleged fake and forged documents have been so far used in the alleged fraudulent transfer of his late father’s land in Ruiru, Kiambu county.

“The fake documents purporting that I was given Sh 39 million have been used by Marriot through Nyiha Mukoma advocates to file an application dated December 16, 2020,” said Kihara.

Kihara claims that Trendsetter/Marriot used the alleged fake sale agreement and fake land board control consent to get orders over the land from some government offices. Kihara also wants the DCI to investigate claims that one of the interested parties in the land has allegedly influenced some senior judge.

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