On Friday 3rd, 2020, Housing PS Charles Hinga launched a premier luxurious-low-cost housing Samara Estate project in Kiambu County, an initiative that would see Muranga governor aspirant on the Farmers Party ticket Irungu Nyakera’s Sycamore Pine Limited listed as the vendor, with the sales agent being the Safaricom Investment Cooperative – which recommended the product to its members.
Two years later, members of the Safaricom Investment Sacco are counting losses that run into millions of shillings after depositing money to Sycamore Pine Investment Limited for an initiative that has never kicked off.
”It was quite well advertised, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment at Ksh 2.95m and 3.95m respectively. Safaricom Investment Cooperative (SIC) as sales agent recommended the product to us because we are their members. As per the sale agreement signed between the buyer (us) and the vendor (Sycamore Pine Limited) we were to deposit 40% of the cost of the apartment and the rest was to be paid in 24 equal monthly installments starting from when the construction commences,” Julius, a member of SIC tells this publication.
He reveals their money was deposited to Sycamore PINE Ltd account but through MMC ASAFO, a law firm in Spring Valley owned by Lawyer Edward Muriu. Despite the project being listed to start by early 2021 and the apartments ready for occupation by 2023, it did not happen, something that shocked SIC.
”SIC sensing a breach of the agreement by the developer (Sycamore pine Ltd owned by Irungu Nyakera) advised us to withdraw from the project and ask for a refund which we did. We wrote to MMC, withdrew from the project, and asked for a refund of our cash. MMC didn’t have an objection but needed approval from the director of Sycamore Pine Ltd who is Irungu Nyakera,” he adds.
After the letter, Lawyer Muirui’s MMC complained that the developers had ceased to communicate with them and that they (MMC ASAFO) were waiting for them to advise accordingly on what they should do next.
It was from here that the group went after Irungu Nyakera on Twitter where they highlighted the issue and were lucky enough to get his attention. However, their requests for a refund from the Sycamore Pines Ltd director have not borne any fruits and Mr. Nyakera is not accessible anymore.
”Nyakera reached out to me sometime in September last year and started his lies and assurances with fake promises that he will refund. At one point he even asked to be given just a month, after which he would sit with MMC ASAFO lawyers and find a way of releasing the money. But after February 2022, Nyakera disappeared and would not speak to us again.”
”All we are asking him is to refund investors money deposited with him since he failed in his obligation to deliver the apartment. Why hold investors’ money one year down the line?” he poses.
China Building Technology Group Kenya (CBTG) is listed as the contractor and financier for the project. The Group’s Chief Executive Officer is Tom Kimani Zeng.
The Affordable Housing Project (AHP) was launched in December 2017 as one of the national government’s four pillars of growth, in the President’s Big Four Plan. It promised to deliver 500,000 affordable homes over a five-year period.