Housing Cooperative files appeal over Talanta Hela Stadium

Court of Appeal

A housing cooperative has lodged a legal challenge against the government’s acquisition of a 60-acre land parcel, valued at KSh15 billion, designated for the construction of the contemporary Talanta Hela Stadium sports complex.

The Postel Housing Cooperative Society contends that the land was obtained without adhering to the legal requirements for compulsory acquisition.

In the appeal, the society has faulted the decision of the Environment and Land Court, issued in July last year, stating that it had no legitimate right to claim over 60 acres of the land of Ngong road.

“The judge erred in law and fact by failing to consider that the impugned legislative supplement number 11 0f 2001 dated the February 23, 2001, which revoked the appellants interest to and in respect of the 60 acres portion of land, was irregular and unlawful and the legal notice number 154 of 1999 had vested 60 acres of the suit property in favour of the appellant,” the society said in the appeal.

Last year, Justice Oguttu Mboya issued a ruling that was advantageous to Telkom Kenya.

Through its chairman Henry Belsoi, the society asserted their legitimate ownership of the disputed 60-acre land, claiming acquisition from Telkom’s antecedent, the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC). He argued that the sale of the land occurred while a legal dispute between the cooperative society and Telkom was still active in court, undermining their case.

Subsequently, a Nairobi court granted permission to the ex-employees to file charges against the directors of Telkom, several of whom have departed from the company, following allegations that the Director of Public Prosecutions neglected to address the reported fraud despite being informed.

The society states that over 300 former employees of the now-dissolved KPTC contributed funds in the 1990s to purchase 60 acres out of a 79-acre tract of land.

They allege that the agreed purchase price of KSh350, 000 per acre, amounting to KSh21 million in total, was deducted from their salaries via a check-off system.

Belsoi noted that Postel members had paid in excess of KSh21 million before the cessation of contributions in 2009.

The collective contends that Telkom disposed of the land to AFTRACO at a grossly undervalued price of KSh1.5 billion, in a transaction they claim was illicit and subsequently invalidated by a panel of three judges.

“There is no doubt that the said action of purpoting to sell the said parcel of land to a third party amounts to outright commission of fraud on their part by Telkom Kenya Board,” Belsoi said in an affidavit.

He said Telkom could only sell 19 acres and the move to sell the whole land was fraudulent.

Postel Housing Co-operative, also known as Karnataka Postal & Telecom Employee’s Housing Co-Operative Society Ltd, is an organization that offers solutions for home needs and develops layouts. It was established in 1964 by a group of individuals from the Postal Department with a vision of providing financial assistance to colleagues for housing opportunities.

By Frank Mugwe

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