The children of former provincial commissioner Charles Karuga Koinange have petitioned to the High Court to have the Village Market and Tribe Hotel demolished, saying the two upper market facilities sit on their land.
In a dispute that has roped in the KCB Group, the Koinange scions say that Greenhills Investment, which owns the Village market and is associated with the Ehsami brothers (Abbas, the eldest, Mehraz an architect, and Hamed, the youngest), grabbed the land from them.
Greenhills acquired a Ksh8.5 billion loan from KCB, which they used to develop the facility which is now estimated to be worth Ksh15 billion.
According to the proprietors, they bought the land which was full of coffee bushes, before they developed the facility which has become a favourite spot for Gigiri residents and diplomats.
The Koinange family now want a share of the profits that the Ehsami brothers have made over the three decades that the facility has been in existence.
“In the alternative, full compensation to the plaintiff at market value or current valuation of the suit property,” the Koinange family says in the petition.
Mr Koinange, who served as a senior chief and later as a provincial commissioner, was the younger brother of former powerful minister in the Jomo Kenyatta government, Mbiyu Koinange.
He died in 2004, leaving behind a multi-billion estate consisting of land, shares in various companies, money in bank accounts and other investments estimated to be worth more than Ksh15 billion.
According to the family lawyer Ashford Mugwuku, the land was among the properties left for distribution among the family, but the exercise has been stalled by the ownership tussle.
“In the interest of justice, it is necessary to grant the orders sought to forestall further illegal dealings or transactions on the subject property and to preserve the subject matter of this suit,” Mr Mugwuku says in court documents.
“The defendants have refused or failed to account, render requested information of particulars pertaining to this claim despite written complaints and demands by the plaintiffs,” the lawyer says.
The High Court will hear the petition from Wednesday.
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