Over 2000 slum dwellers desperate to get back their land from an NGO

Over 2000 city slum dwellers have urged the High Court to compel a director of a non-governmental organization to transfer to them a Sh1 billion parcel of land they bought 12 years ago to put up 3,000 residential houses.

Testifying before Justice Elijah Obaga, Jane Weru, who had been proposed for the Nairobi County Deputy Governors vacant slot admitted the title deed for the 23-acre land within Mukuru slums in Embakasi Nairobi is in her possession.

“The title deed for the suit property was released to me by Ecobank which had financed the purchase of 23 acres from Mill White Limited in 2009,” she stated.

The bank had advanced the slum dwellers a loan through Weru’s Muungano wa Wanavijiji Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT) in 2009 to aid them buy the land.

The land was bought for Sh81million.

“The title deed was released to me in 2013 after full payment of a loan of Sh55 million advanced to the dwellers by Ecobank within 19 months,” Weru testified.

Cross-examined by lawyer Abubakar Ramadhan she stated that she has continued to hold the title deed because the slum dwellers have not paid her organizations her Sh24 million.

“The complainants herein owe me Sh24 million which I lend them to purchase the parcel of land,” she explained.

But it emerged later on cross-examination by Ramadhan the Sh24 million was wired to her AMT by Bill and Melida Gates Foundation of the United States of America.

Weru told Justice Obaga that the slum dwellers who are members of Mukuru Makao Bora Trust initially Sisal Scheme Self Help Group (SSSG) approached her AMT to assist them acquire the land.

AMT has been sued by Mukuru Makao Bora Trust members Mary Nduta (chairperson), Kahira Noor Bile, Joseph Mwangi and Robert Okwoyo Mironga.

The four who have filed the representative case are seeking orders to compel AMT through Weru to transfer the land to them and furnish them with a statement of account of their loan account.

In her evidence, the director said she has no opposition to transferring the parcel of land to the complainants.

She alleged there have been disagreements between the members of Mukuru led by its former chairman John Mbatia whom the judge heard has also written to her to transfer the land to the slum dwellers to put up descent houses.

Weru denied an averment that she is holding the title deed to continue receiving money from donors.

Testimony was led that even though Ecobank closed the loan account she has continued to receive millions of shillings through it.

She further admitted that she has been sued by a Machakos based self-help group for refusing with its title deed.

The case will proceed on May 13, 2019 when her lawyer Timothy Grand will re-examine Weru. 

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