Urithi Housing Co-operative Society is facing a market backlash after one of mega-projects land was put up for sale, after defaulting a loan.
The land, Panorama Gardens in Gatanga, was acquired in 2016 at a price of Ksh1.5 billion from the owner with a down-payment of Ksh1 billion. The balance of Ksh500 million was to be paid in five years time.
Urithi also took over the loan liabilities of the then owner, who had failed to service his bank loans.
The bank appointed Nairobi-based Antique Auctions Agencies to oversee the sale and has served the society with 45 days redemption notice to offset a debt of Ksh263 million.
However, on their side, according to media reports, Urithi said that they have cleared with the bank.
“I have seen the notice, but we are engaging both parties and we hope to settle the matter as soon as possible.One of our biggest challenges to offset this debt is coming from some members who subscribed to this project we marketed as Panorama Gardens and made a down payment but have never cleared the balance,’’ says Urithi chairman Samuel Maina.
Panorama Gardens plots were sold at Ksh2.25 million after being marketed as ready plots for immediate development and attracted 400 investors.
However, the investors now claim they cannot develop the property because most of them have never been issued with title deeds
“Out of the 400 investors who bought plots at Panorama Gardens, nearly 70 per cent have cleared their balances. We are currently reaching out to the members who owe us some money to clear their balances so that we can conclude documentation and issue title deeds to the members,” Mr Maina said.
In another project dubbed Tola 3 and Tola 4 behind Mangu High School, investors who bought parcels of land cannot develop their parcels after they were flushed out by the original owner, despite completing payment for the lands.
According to reports by the Nation, the vendor who sold the said land to Urithi dug a trench on the property and brought down the beacons claiming Urithi had not cleared paying for the land.
Several developments at the two projects have been stopped by the vendor, with the chairman saying that “if a project is in distress, it is only them (investors) who can save it.”
Urithi started in 2012 and has 8,000 members. Among its founders were its current chairman Samuel Maina and the embattled televangelist David Kariuki who left in 2013 to set up Gakuyo Real Estate and later Ekeza Sacco, which is in the middle of storm after allegedly swindling its members over Ksh1 billion.