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Former VP Moody Awori named in Karen land saga

Former Vice-President Moody Awori guaranteed a Sh10.5 million loan for a director of an investment firm that acquired a Sh8 billion property in Karen, Nairobi, a court heard on Wednesday.

Lady Justice Lucy Nyambura Gacheru heard that Mr Awori, who was a director of Muchanga Investments which is battling with other companies and individuals over the ownership of the 134.4-acre land in Karen, witnessed and signed the loan application by Mr Horatius Da Gama Rose at Barclays Bank.

“There has been a relation between the bank and Muchanga Investments over the Karen land,” lawyer Cecil Miller told Justice Gacheru.

Mr Miller said the bank had been appointed by then owner of the land Arnold Brandley, who has since died, as the sole administrator of his property and had the singular mandate to sell the land.

LOAN TO DA GAMA ROSE

The bank, which had a mandate over the land, sold it to Muchanga Investments in 1983 and “exactly at 3.30pm on August 30, 1983, the title of the property was used to secure a Sh10.5 million loan to Mr Da Gama Rose”.

The lawyer said the loan, which had been secured with Mr Awori as a guarantor, was paid and the title deed released by the bank to Muchanga Investments.

He said the title deed was released to Mr Da Gama Rose through the law firm of Sharpley Barret in 1989.

“All these entries were reflected in the records at the Ministry of Lands,” he said.

Mr Miller urged the judge to confirm the injunction barring third parties from encroaching onto the land “legally sold to Muchanga Investments for Sh1,250,000 in 1983”.

CRYSTAL CLEAR

He said the bank could not have advanced the loan to Muchanga if it had been registered in the name of businessman John Mugo Kamau, who alleges that he bought it in 1978.

“There has been a crystal clear relation between the bank and the Muchanga over the ownership of the land between 1983 and 1989,” he said.

He said Barclays, through legal officer Waweru Mathenge, “crystalised the vesting of the land to Muchanga” by explaining that the will drawn by the initial owner of the land only identified the bank as the executor of his will in relation to the property.

The hearing continues.