One of the companies controversially allocated a huge tract of land in Lamu used it as security to borrow Sh1 billion from a local bank, the Sunday Nation can reveal.
This was one of the shocking details revealed at a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lamu leaders at State House on Thursday evening.
The exposé was made by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu during a PowerPoint presentation on the first day of the meeting between the President, Deputy President William Ruto and leaders from the troubled county.
According to the presentation, Kaab Investments, which was registered on October 12, 2007, allegedly took the loan against the 6,268 acres land it had been allocated.
Kaab is among the 22 companies that shared the 500,000 acres of public land in Lamu, whose allocation President Kenyatta said had been revoked to allow investigation.
According to the document released by State House, Kaab Investments is registered as number C.145956 and has four directors who last filed their returns this year.
The directors are Zein Mohamed Ahmed (32,400 shares) Aweys Ahmed Mohamed (21,600 shares), James Mwangi Muturi (12,000 shares), Balwinder Kaur Sagoo (54,000 shares).
DUBIOUS AND CORRUPT
Sixteen of the 22 companies named as having acquired land “under dubious and corrupt circumstances” appear not to have been properly registered, perhaps set up for the sole purpose of the transacting the land deals whose effects may now reverberate powerfully in financial and real estate sectors after the titles were cancelled.
Of interest is Shanghai Investments Limited, named after the Chinese port city and which does not appear on the database of registered companies.
However, its listed directors have Nairobi addresses. The directors are listed as John Gitu Kiarie (125 shares), Peter Muchangi Njiru (125 shares), Peter Mwangi Karenju (125 shares), Daniel Gacheru Mwangi (125 shares), Simon Ng’ang’a Wanjohi (125 shares), Burton Kibui Maina (125 shares), Michael Nduhiu Kariuki (125 shares), Jeremia Mbatia Gikonyo (125 shares).
Yesterday, an official of one of the companies Witu-Nyongoro Ranch (DA) Company, emerged to say it has been in existence since 1971 and called on the President to rescind his decision.
Mr Abdul Ijema, the ranch secretary, told the Sunday Nation from Nairobi that they would wait for the outcome of investigations into how they had acquired the land before making their next move.
“Our ranch which is owned by Orma and Bajuni cattle keepers was formed as a community ranch in 1971. We explained all this to them (President Kenyatta and DP Ruto).We were advised to present our documents to Lands cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu,” he said.
Mr Ijema said the ranch, which covers an area of 79,534 acres, suffered huge financial losses in 1978 and 1980 when the dreaded Somali shifta militia raided it and drove away more than 2,000 cattle.
The Interim directors of Upeo limited and investments group, who were mentioned in a land allotment case said they legally purchased Shela ranch from known people. The directors, Hamadi Boga, Maimuna Mwidau and Naomi Sidi, refuted claims that they are beneficiaries of allotment of Shela Ranch.
Speaking at a press conference in Mombasa they said 465 members from coast region purchased the chunk of land at Sh108 million with an intention of investing in the LAPSSET project.
“Original owners of Shela ranch are well known. We were not beneficiaries of any government or ministerial allocation,” said Ms Sidi.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Nation can today provide a blow-by-blow account of the Thursday State House meeting that started with prayers by a clergyman from Mpeketoni — a town in Lamu County that which lost at least 67 people in a June 15-16 attack, the first of a series in the area.
President Kenyatta then welcomed the guests and asked Mrs Ngilu to present the report she had shared with him. The Cabinet Secretary had PowerPoint slides, beginning with a map of Lamu County.
Sparse little red dots represented areas occupied by Lamu people while the big chunks of well-demarcated land showed they belonged to private companies.
“In the special economic zones, there were 18 parcels of land, each 500 acres, that were in the process of being issued to private companies, but we have been able to infiltrate the process and stop it,” Mrs Ngilu told the gathering.
The statement elicited sounds of approval from the delegation while others expressed shock at the details unfolding before their eyes as Mrs Ngilu revealed how private companies had allegedly grabbed the land. The most outstanding was Brick Investment which she said had acquired 80,000 acres of land.
The company was said to have two registration certificates of CPR/2011/62444 and CPR/2011/53032, with two different directors each; Alice Masaa (1 share) and Margaret Kavulani (1 share) while the second Brick investment’s directors are Lars Jonas Geke (500 shares) and Timothy Njuguna Kuria (500 shares). The company has not filed any returns since incorporation.
By the time Mrs Ngilu was done with the report, everyone had something to say. The President stood up and thanked her for her presentation and invited the leaders to express their views and concerns.
“Those found to have illegally acquired land shall be brought to account. The government shall revoke their title deeds and the process of land allocation shall be done again involving the leaders of Lamu,” said President Kenyatta.
The first to speak was Lamu Governor Issa Timamy. The county head, who is facing charges in court related to the Mpeketoni attacks, thanked the President for convening the meeting. But he described the State House visit as “bittersweet” since his personal assistant, a chief and a driver were among those arrested upon arriving in Nairobi with the Lamu delegation.
The governor complained that no reason had been given for the arrest and he had not been allowed to speak to them. The President said the matter would be handled by Interior CS Joseph ole Lenku and the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.
The Sunday Nation has established that after the complaint, Mr Timamy’s aide, Mr Mohammed Mbwana, his 19-year-old daughter who had completed secondary school last year, the county protocol officer Hassan Haji and Mokowe location chief Kassim Hassan were freed unconditionally on Friday.
A driver with the Lamu county government is among 15 people being held at various police stations since Thursday.
Mr Timamy told the meeting: “I shall sit with the leaders of Lamu and together we shall deliberate on the measures that we would like the government to take during the reallocation of the land. However, we bear in mind that Lamu needs investors to come and develop the area and the only way they can be attracted is if we offer them land.”
The President listened keenly to Mr Timamy before standing up to respond. He welcomed the leaders once more and reassured them he had called them for peaceful dialogue to help the people of Lamu.
“Sitaki nikiwaita huku tena mkatae kuja kwangu mkihofia kushikwa (I don’t want you to fear coming to see me when I call a meeting on grounds that you will be arrested),” said the President.
The rest of the leaders followed suit and expressed their frustrations regarding the land and issues of insecurity. One claimed there had been conflict over land since the 1960s, adding that it was wrong to single out any particular ethnic community for the problems.
Another leader spoke of how she is one of those that have been internally displaced from the clashes of the 1960s.
Somali-based Al-Shabaab terrorists have claimed responsibility for attacks in the county that started in Mpeketoni in mid-June. But 36 hours after the first attack President Kenyatta blamed local political networks.
The leaders said the curfew that was imposed on Lamu County had helped restore peace, but they also expressed their fears of what would happen once KDF leaves the area. They asked the government to build a military barracks in Lamu and retrain and equip the police to fight any future attacks.
“Let us also involve the youth through institutions like NYS (National Youth Service) so that they too can help in building a strong security unit in Lamu,” one leader said.
A representative from Mpeketoni expressed her concern, saying residents who gave names of suspected attackers to the authorities were living in fear since those arrested are often released after a few days. She also wondered why residents were not properly protected during the attacks despite having reported the threats beforehand.
The President ended the meeting by promising to keep his word on revoking the titles as well as maintaining honesty and transparency in the re-allocation of the land. He welcomed the leaders for further talks on Friday.
On the second day of the talks, the Lamu leaders resolved to bury their individual and political differences.
They agreed to provide leadership in addressing the challenges facing the county, saying the problems required local solutions.
Some of the firms at centre of the storm
BRICK INVESTMENTS LIMITED
1. Alice Masaa P.O Box 67486 Nairobi- 1 Share
2. Margaret Kavulani P.O Box 67486 Nairobi -1 Share
BRICK INVESTMENT LIMITED
1. Lars Jonas Geke P.O Box 25240-00603 Nairobi- 500 Shares
2. Timothy Njuguna Kuria P.O 25240-00603 Nairobi- 500 Shares
DYNAMIC TRADING COMPANY LIMITED
1. Alice Masaa P.O Box 67486 Nairobi- 1 Share
2. Margaret Kavulani P.O Box 67486 Nairobi -1 Share
MAT INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
1. Twalib Ali Mohamed Hatayan P.O Box 16498 Mombasa- 620 shares
2. Abdiwahid Haji Yerrow P.O Box 164698 Mombasa- 380 shares
SHANGHAI AFRICA INVESTMENT LIMITED
1. John Gitu Kiarie P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
2. Peter Muchangi Njiru P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
3. Peter Mwangi Karenju P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
4. Daniel Gacheru Mwangi P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
5. Simon Nganga Wanjohi P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
6. Burton Kibui Maina P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
7. Michael Nduhiu Kariuki P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
8. Jeremia Mbiata Gikonyo P.O Box 5286-00100 Nairobi- 125 shares
Fincorp Investments Limited
1. Farouk Hamid Khamis P.O Box 41876-80100 Mombasa- 500 shares
2. Said Abdalla P.O Box 82209-80100 Mombasa- 500 shares
Kaab Investments Limited
1. Zein Mohamed Ahmed P.O Box 84831 Mombasa- 32,400 shares
2. Aweys Ahmed Mohamed P.O Box 84831 Mombasa- 21,600 shares
3. James Mwangi Muturi P.O Box 84831 Mombasa- 12,000 shares
4. Balwinder Kaur Sagoo
P.O Box 84831 Mombasa- 54,000 shares
Dynamic Trading Company Limited
1. Vijay Kumar P.O Box 114 Village Market Nairobi- 1 share
2. Ankit Bhardwaj P.O Box 84831 Mombasa- 32,400 shares
Savannah Fresh Fruits Exporters
1. Ali Ahmed Mohamed Badhrus
2. Harith Aboud Abdalla
3. Mohamed Abbas Abdalla
4. Swaleh Aboud Abdallah- All of P.O Box 85216 Mombasa
Lamu Investments Limited
1. Dr.Abdallah Said Burja P.O Box 255 Lamu- 40 shares
2. Hon. Abdul Aziz Said Burja P.O Box 3 Witu- 33 shares
3. Ahmad Said Burja P.O Box 10 Lamu- 33 shares
1. Dahir Jama Mohamed
2. Salah Husein Ibrahim
3. Mohamed DahirJama
4. Mohamed Husein Ibrahim
5. Abdi Rashid DahirJama- All of P.O Box 85818 Mombasa
Rusken International Limited
1. Husein Hamid P.O Box 67845-00200 Nairobi- 1 share
2. Farouk Hamid P.O Box 67845-00200 Nairobi- 1 share
Abubakar Mohamed Swaleh- P.O Box 197 Lamu Tel 0724411628( Sole proprietor)
Sheila Ranch Limited
1. Naomi Cidi Kumbatha P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 1 share
2. Prof. Hamadi Boga P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 1 share
3. Maimuna Mwidau P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 1 share
4. Reuben Tsuma P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 1 share
5. George Kazungu P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 1 share
6. Upeo Limited P.O Box 21205- 00100 Nairobi- 5 shares( Non- director shareholder)
WITU NYANGORO RANCH(DA) COMPANY LIMITED
WITU CONSERVATION SELF HELP GROUP
MOKOWE KIBOKONI RANCH LIMITED
PANDA NGUO BONI COMMUNITY
BARAGONI BONI COMMUNITY
LAMU ESTATES RANCH LIMITED
Witu Nyangoro Ranch Chacoal Producers and Transporters Association
1. Abdulla Nyema- P.O Box 12 Witu- Chairman
2. Ali Godana- P.O Box 12 Witu- Secretary.
3. Bodole Balisa- P.O Box 12 Witu- Treasurer
Tullu Mbugani Limited
1. Isaiah Mwai Mathenge P.O Box 21 Nyeri- 500 shares
2. Abubakar Mohamed Habib P.O Box 88242 Mombasa- 500 shares
3. James Isaiah Mathenge P.O Box 21 Nyeri- Nil shares
Boni Community Forest Association
1. Ahmed Abdi Noor- P.O Box 10539-00100 Nairobi- Chairman
2. Mohamed Ali Hirey- P.O Box 10539-00100 Nairobi- Secretary
3. Barre Hussein Dagane- P.O Box 10539-00100 Nairobi- Secretary
Witu Community Wildlife Management Forum
1. Mohamed Amin-P.O Box 31 Witu- Chairman
2. HussinKusso- P.O Box 31 Witu- Secretary
3. Hassan Dukicha- P.O Box 31 Witu- Treasurer
Witu Farmers Forest Association
1. Wilfred Matatia- P.O Box 83 Witu- Chairman
2. Harun Hole Haribe- P.O Box 36 Witu- Secretary
3. Hadija Bwanamkuu- P.O Box 31 Witu- Treasurer