Over 100 firms in the real estate sector have formed an association dubbed Real Estate Stakeholders Association to help end the many cases of Kenyans being conned millions of shillings by fraudulent land buying and selling companies.
According to Zani Properties Limited chairman Shamton Githere, the association will play a pivotal role in regulating the sector and ensuring that all firms are accountable for all land deals with their clients.
“We have in the recent past seen thousands of innocent Kenyans lose millions of shillings to corrupt land firms across the country. Most of them are yet to get justice because there hasn’t been proper regulation of the sector,” Githere said.
Githere noted that stringent measures will be taken against individuals and land buying/selling companies engaging in fraudulent deals.
“Some firms are out to taint the image of real estate business in the country by engaging in deceitful land deals. Most of them have been selling ‘air’ to Kenyans. These are the firms we want to weed out and we won’t just stop at that; we will ensure that they repay every dime they have conned poor citizens,” Githere said.
He revealed some of the tricks the unscrupulous dealers use, including colluding with corrupt Ministry of Land officials and lawyers to forge and manipulate land ownership documents.
“This has resulted in multiple allocations of land parcels to investors and land buyers due to duplication of title deeds. As a result, the buyers end up losing their money and land,” he said.
The chairman called on the government to relook into the proposal where real estate firms are required to deposit Ksh500 million with the government for them to be licensed to operate.
He said that the amount is unfeasible to many companies and that implementing it will annihilate many businesses across the county.
“Very few companies can afford such an amount of money. We are pleading with the government to allow us come up with our regulation guidelines that will streamline the sector,” he said.
Samuel Maina, an investor, urged the government to be wary of some companies closing down and rebranding to new entities unknown to their investors after conning them millions.
By Kamau Njoroge
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