Military handed a Sh60bn bill

Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi. Photo/FILE

The City Council of Nairobi has threatened to sue the military over a Sh60 billion land deal struck during the Kanu reign.

It wants the Department of Defence (DoD) to pay it for the land comprising the Embakasi Barracks or leave by May 30.

The council says the DoD breached a contract for its purchase and wrongfully took possession of the land in 1997.

This comes before another case where DoD was ordered to pay Sh1.5 billion to four businessmen or vacate a parcel of land in Embakasi is resolved.

The council has given a statutory notice of 30 days starting April 10 to the military to pay up or leave.

Through  lawyer Donald Kipkorir, the council wants Attorney-General Githu Muigai to intervene in the dispute.

The notice was issued on April 10 and has been sent to Chief of Kenyan Defence Forces, Gen. Julius Karangi, and the Minister for Defence Yusuf Haji.

Last year, the High Court ordered DoD to compensate four businessmen for the 90-acre piece of land on which the Kenya Army Mine Action Training Centre stands.

The case had been lodged by Torino Enterprises which accused DoD of unlawfully taking possession of its property.

High Court judge Jean Gacheche ordered that the government either surrenders the land to Torino Enterprises or pays up.

City Hall accuses the DoD of failing to honour an agreement requiring it to pay Sh40 million within 30 days from November 7, 1997, when it was allocated the land.

The council’s says tripartite meetings attended by representatives of the AG, City Hall and DoD had failed to reach a compromise. The council purchased the land from Embakasi Ranch Company in 1997.  The military thereafter asked the council to allocate it 988 acres.

City Hall agreed on condition that DoD pays a premium of Sh40 million. But the military did not pay up, and went on to erect security installations on the land.

“In further breach  of the said   allocation Kenya Defence Forces proceeded to wrongfully enter   the  land  and fenced it  off and is in  wrongful occupation,’’ said the lawyer.

The City Council says it has lost the benefit of the property, making it to suffer loss and damage. The council says it contracted valuers who priced the land at Sh61.5 billion, or Sh4 million per quarter acre.

DoD spokesman Bogita Ongeri told the Nation on phone that he could not comment on the issue because the pending court case. The case between Torino and DoD is still in court after one of the three businessmen opposed payment of the money to his partners.

Mr Tony Kegode filed an application stopping the release of the money to the three, Mr Patrick Osero, Mr Kenneth Boit and Mr James Cheruiyot whom he claimed were no longer directors  of Torino Enterprises.

He told the court that the three instituted the case long after they had resigned as directors of Torino. The court will rule on April 24 whether the money should be released.