Telecommunications firm Telkom Kenya has taken legal action over a disputed 79- acre land on Ngong Road. The telecommunications firm has filed a Constitutional Petition to stop Postel Housing Co-operative Society from instituting private prosecution against its directors.
In the petition that has been certified as urgent, Telkom has stated that criminal proceedings initiated by officials of Postel Housing Cooperative Society is targeting executives and directors who were not in the telco when the land deal was brokered in 1993. Telkom has stated that the targeted directors were not board members ahead of 2011, and, therefore, not involved in dealings touching on the property. Eddy Njoroge joined the board in 2011, Mugo Kibati joined in 2018. “It is a travesty of justice for the police to be involved in the settlement of what is purely a civil dispute being litigated in court,” the petition stated.
Telkom has also argued that the criminal suit is a ploy to force it to drop its pursuit of the disputed land. In April 2021, the High Court ruled that the land rightfully belongs to Telkom Kenya.
On Monday October, 25, 2021, the High Court granted Telkom orders for stay until the matter is heard and determined. A date of 24th January has been set for highlighting submissions.
On January 19, 1993, the now defunct Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) entered into an agreement for the sale of 60 acres under land reference no 7656 (Grant No IR 8498) to Postel Housing Co-op Society.
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On January 28 January, 1993, Postel entered into an agreement with Exclusive Estates Limited for the construction of houses on the parcel of property that was being sold. The housing project, however, never took off and the sale was of the land was never completed.
Justice Ngenye Macharia had earlier nullified an arbitration award of September 2019 that ordered Telkom to hand over the 60-acre land in Jamhuri Estate along Ngong Road in Nairobi to Exclusive Estates Limited (EEL). Exclusive is associated with controversial businessman Francis Mburu.
In its ruling, the High Court had agreed with Telkom that the arbitrator known as Zehrabanu Janmohamed re-wrote a contract between the parties by directing Telkom to accept Sh. 21 million for the land.
Strikingly, Exclusive had been given the land by the arbitrator even though Exclusive never purchased it. Apparently, the arbitrator handed Exclusive the land on the assumption that a deal to develop the property which Exclusive had entered into with the corporation three decades ago gave it legitimate claim to the land.
Telkom successfully contested this finding, arguing that the land which is worth over Sh. 6 billion could not have been transferred to Exclusive at Sh. 21 million. The High Court on April 22, 2021 overturned the arbitration ruling in favour of Telkom.