The housing multi-billion-shilling real estate transaction in Kenya sponsored by Chinese and Qataris has hit a roadblock owing to the fact that the Kenyan government lost the legal battle to acquire 4,272 acres from East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) for free. The Kenyan government’s loss has effectively suspended plans to build affordable homes in the area.
Kenya’s administration disregarded regulations governing the compulsory acquisition, including consulting stakeholders like the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), French company Lafarge, and the Nairobi bourse-listed cement manufacturer, according to the Kenyan High Court. As a result, the court halted the takeover of the land in Athi River, estimated to be worth KSh6.4 billion ($47.8 million). This report is courtesy of The East African, a news publication focused on news across Africa, particularly East Africa.
Oliver Kirubai, the managing director of EAPCC, informed the Kenyan parliament that the court had blocked the state acquisition and said that the cement manufacturer intends to build a Green Smart City as part of its effort to diversify its revenue streams through real estate.
The lawsuit was filed in response to resistance from the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) of the nation, who claimed Portland Cement and the NSSF were not consulted and had no intention of voluntarily ceding the property.
With Lafarge holding a 41.7% investment and the government of the nation owning 22.3% of EAPCC, the NSSF holds a 27% stake in the company.
Due to EAPCC’s failure to use the land for agriculture in accordance with the distribution terms agreed upon in 1960, Kenya’s Ministry of Land and Physical Planning sought to acquire the property for free.
According to the Big 4 Agenda of former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, the corporation was expected to give up the site right away to make room for private investors, including Chinese and Qataris, to develop more than 3,000 affordable housing units.
According to a statement made to the Kenyan parliament by EAPCC, the company wants to pay off KSh4.5 billion ($33.6 million) in government debt, KSh2 billion ($14.9 million) in union and employee dues, KSh1.3 billion ($9.7 million) in unpaid taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), KSh1.2 billion ($8.96 million) for plant renovations, and KSh450 million ($335835) in unpaid cement levies.