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Shock as Kenyan woman, Anne Kihagi-Swain, is fined $2.4M by US court

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A Kenyan landlady who has been described as notorious by the media , Anne Kihagi, who was sued by the SF city attorney two years ago after numerous reports about her shady eviction tactics and unfair treatment of tenants, has been ordered to pay $2.4 million and has also been sentenced to five days in jail for violating provisions of the Ellis Act at one of her properties in West Hollywood.

 

The news was received with shock among Kenyans.

“A Kenyan woman has been fined US$2.4 million (Sh247.5 million) by an American court for being an abusive landlord,” reported a Kenya paper.

Ms Anne Kihagi has been accused of harassing 23 tenants and wrongfully evicting 10 others by using unconventional methods to frustrate among them the elderly and a cancer patient.

Ms Kihagi, a landlord with a portfolio of property worth $24 million (Sh2.5 billion) was also sentenced to five days in a San Francisco jail for violating the housing law.

This is after a two-year bruising court battle with her tenants who have christened her the “notorious landlord”.

In fact, Ms Kihagi may end up being fined up to $4 million (Sh412.5 million) since the judge also ruled

Anne Kihagi

that she must foot the costs incurred during the case.

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Ms Kihagi’s run-ins with her tenants began two years ago when they complained of harassment and uncouth tactics that their landlord used to evict them so she could renovate the building and rent it out at a higher price.

VERBAL AB– USE

According to a report by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the tactics used by Ms Kihagi included: “Fraud, harassment, threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, interrupting gas, electric, water and cable service, failing to cash rent cheques, only to late claim them as untimely rent payment and violating tenants’ privacy by entering their apartments without required notice”.

The tenants also accused Ms Kihagi of installing video surveillance cameras aimed at their front doors.

Ms Kihagi has since garnered a reputation for being a horrible landlord, with Mr Herrera saying, “I’ve gone after a lot of lawless landlords in my time, but Anne Kihagi has a special place reserved for her in San Francisco’s abusive landlord ‘hall of fame’. Her cruelty is stunning.”

In her ruling, Judge Angela Bradstreet noted that Ms Kihagi’s behaviour had serious effects on the lives of several citizens of San Francisco, to the point that one former tenant had to quit her job and move out of the state. In another case, Ms Kihagi forced a tenant suffering from cancer out of his home.

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The court case was under investigation for two years and the ruling attracted a lot of media coverage from San Francisco press.

The US based media have reported that Ms Kihagi irked her tenants so much that some housing rights activists took to the streets to protest against her.

BUSINESS MODEL

US newspapers have reported that Ms Kihagi began buying property in June 2013 in Noe Valley, the Mission and North Beach and the Castro, making her the owner of over 50 units in San Francisco.

It is also reported that Ms Kihagi is working closely with two business associates, Julia Mwangi and Christine Mwangi, known as “The Mwangi sisters” who were jointly sued by the tenants. She also has property in Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

Her business model involves buying buildings with long-term, “rent-controlled tenants paying below-market rents and then using a wide range of methods, both legal and illegal, to get rid of the tenants,” a San Francisco newspaper reported.

Once she pushes out the tenants, Ms Kihagi allegedly makes unpermitted improvements in the buildings after which she rents them at a higher price.

Ms Kihagi, who is being represented by her lawyer Karen Uchiyama, blames the case on a tenant activists group that wanted to “make a scapegoat of Anne Kihagi”.

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The lawyer further accused the court of scaring landlords from evicting tenants. The lawyer maintained that Ms Kihagi acted within the law even in evicting the tenants. Meanwhile, Ms Kihagi is appealing the ruling.

-Nairobi news

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Diaspora

Kenyan man deported from the US on arrival at the airport, seeks help to reunite with his Patients

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An online petition to help a Doctor of Kenyan descent who was deported from the United States two weeks ago has been launched.

According to the petition seen by ksnmedia.com,  Dr. Alexander Ondari  was returning to the US to complete his last year as a resident physician at the University of Texas Medical Branch on July 6th, when he was denied entry.

He is now seeking the intervention of the US Embassy in Nairobi. Below is the Petition as prepared by one Georgia Colleluori:

 

On July the 6th, Dr. Alexander Ondari was returning to USA to complete his last year as a resident physician at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. However, he was barred from entering, as the immigration officer at the airport (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) did not honor the valid J1 Visa that he had. Unfortunately, he was deported back to Kenya where he is right now. Currently, all depends on the USA Embassy in Kenya to grant him a new J1 Visa. 

Dr Ondari’s constant efforts as a physician, together with his charitable character, is critical to the well-being of the communities he lives and serves in. Dr Ondari’s objective is to bring value to the US, an aim that has been already accomplished during the last 17 years as a non-immigrant visa holder. It’s is thus a honor to support his efforts to obtain a J1 visa so that he can serve his patients and continue to improve the health of America.

You can sign the Petition by clicking here – change.org/p/us-embassy-in-nairobi

READ ALSO:   Kenyan-born journalist honoured in US for exemplary reporting
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Diaspora

WATCH LIVE: Francis Muchene’s Memorial Service in Atlanta as burial set for Sat July 27

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Send off plans for Baba Chege (Francis Muchene Chege) are in full gear.
The memorial service is tomorrow Saturday July 20th at 4pm at KACC
771 Elberta Dr,
Marietta, GA. 30066.
The final sendoff is Saturday July 27 at Kennesaw Memorial Park (Atlanta’s Lang’ata) Mariettta , Georgia.

We covet all your prayers.
Asanteni for all the support shown during this difficult time. I am standing on the promises of God. “He shall neither leave us nor forsake us.”
It is well with our souls.

Mr Muchene, who passed away on Monday July 8th after a short illness, was the husband to Christine Muchene (Madam President), Father to Joseph Chege, Dr. Paul Kiarie, Evans Ngamau and Monica Okall.
—————————————

For those asking where to send their donations, please see below:
CashApp # – 678-255-7904
Bank Account – Wells Fargo
A/C # 8716838357
Bank Address – 4309 Claires Brook Lane
Acworth Ga. 30101
Account Name – Francis Muchene Chege Memorial Fund

For more information, please contact:
Elder Kanyari Muthoga – 404-353-6317
Njeri Mungai – 404-435-6534
Pastor Karumba Kiroko – 678-656-8446

 

 

 

READ ALSO:   Kenyan woman battling cancer in US appeals for help as doctors say she has a few days to live
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Business

Optiven begins USA Summer Tour 2019 To Empower And Partner With Kenyans

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Optiven USA Tour July 2019: Optiven has embarked on a month-long mission in the USA.
“We are empowering and partner with  Kenyans in the USA to help them create wealth back at home and share investment opportunities in the vibrant real estate market,” says Mr George Wachiuri, the Group’s CEO.
The Team is in the USA this Summer.
If you are in Harrisonburg VA , Richmond VA, Baltimore MD, St Louis  MO, Boston MA, Seattle WA, you have an  opportunity to interact and invest through this award-winning real estate company.

Optiven USA July Tour

Schedule:

Harrisonburg VA for  the KCFA Conference  (July 4th-7th)

Special Title Presentation by Optiven
Time: Full Day

Baltimore MD July 6th– 10th 2019.

 

During the Annual Independence Day
Special  Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:Full Day
Venue: Grace Quarters Rd, Middle Rivers 21220 MD

Richmond, VA July 7th-10th,2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm

 Venue: Embassy Suites   By Hilton 2925 Emerywood Pkwy Richmond VA 23294

St Louis, MO July 12th- 17th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue:Best Western Inn St Louis 6224,Heimos Industrial Park Dr, St Louis.

Boston, MA July 19th-24th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue: Hyatt Place Boston /Braintree 50 Forbes Rd, Braintree, MA 02184

Seattle, WA July 27th-31st, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Venue:Comfort Inn Federal Way 31622 Pacific  Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Time:4:00pm
Optiven is available for one on one in all stations. All Dinners fully paid by Optiven as you witness the presentation of title deeds.
Contact George or Stephen at +254 713 588 899 or +254 708188671
More details on our website https://www.optiven.co.ke/diaspora/usa2019

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