Railways retirees seek to stop sale of Sh20bn houses in Ngara

Wednesday November 8 2017

High Court Nairobi

Some of the former employees of Kenya Railways Corporation in court on November 7, 2017. They want the High Court to stop the sale of their houses in Ngara Estate valued over Sh20 billion. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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Over 9,000 former employees of the Kenya Railways Corporation have moved to the High Court to stop the sale of their houses in Ngara Estate, Nairobi valued at over Sh20 billion.

The retirees, who reside on the same property, urged Justice Enock Chacha Mwita to stop the sale as it contravenes the agreement reached between them and their former employer.

Lawyer Titus Koceyo for the pensioners told the court that that the agreement reached between them and Kenya Railways has been breached by the trustees of the retirees’ pension scheme.

SCHEME

“The retirees and Kenya Railways identified some of the properties vested to them under the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (KRSRBS) which were to be sold to renovate other properties under their command,” Mr Koceyo told the judge.

He added that Ngara Estate was not one of the properties which was to be sold and the proceeds used to renovate other properties managed by the retirees’ scheme.

“Ngara and Makongeni estates were identified as some of the properties under (KRSRBS) which were to be renovated,” Mr Koceyo.

However, he said that there is move to sell Ngara Estate in blatant breach of the agreement and urged the judge to stop the move by the scheme, Corporate and Pension Trust Trustees Limited and Kenya Railways.

OUTSTANDING ISSUES

But lawyer Ben Millimo for the scheme, the trustees and Kenya Railways opposed the application by the retirees saying there are outstanding issues which require to be undertaken at a huge cost and urged the judge to reject the case.

At the same time the secretary-general of the Rift Valley Railways Workers Union, Mr Isaac Munai, applied to be enjoined in the case saying members of his union are also beneficiaries of the properties in question.

“Members of my union are beneficiaries of the pension scheme and they will be affected adversely by any move to dispose off the properties in dispute,” Mr Munai told Justice Mwita.

OPPOSED

His request to join the case was opposed by lawyers Koceyo and Millimo who told the judge that the inclusion of Mr Munai will not add “any material and legal value to the case”.

Mr Munai informed the court the same case filed before him is similar to another pending at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

He urged the judge to order the case by the 9,000 pensioners filed by Mr Koceyo for Mr Lucas Ondonya and other pensioners to be consolidated with two others pending before Judge Linet Ndolo listed for hearing on November 23, 2017.

In a brief ruling , Justice Mwita enjoined Mr Munai in the case filed by Mr Koceyo and directed Mr Millimo to provide him the petition before Justice Ndolo to see whether they are similar with the one filed by Mr Koceyo.

Justice Mwita directed the two lawyers and Mr Munai to file evidence and listed the case to be heard on November 30, 2017.