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Uhuru’s cousin claims Sh1bn land being sold by Banda Homes

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A member of the Kenyatta family has kicked off a storm over ownership of prime land on which a developer is putting up a Sh1 billion estate for sale.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s cousin, Kathleen Kihanya, is claiming Banda Homes had misled potential buyers on the land, an assertion the investors strongly disputed.

Banda Homes is developing 120 units of three-bedroomed bungalows on a 20-acre piece of land about three kilometers from the Thika Superhighway, which it has been advertising.

“This land belongs to my family and we are now in the process of subdivision and issuance of separate titles,” Ms Kihanya said in a statement.

“Banda purports to have an agreement to buy part of this land, which is not possible because there is no title. They have erected a sale sign on the land and they are collecting deposits from people. My family had no idea,” she said.

Ms Kihanya warned buyers to conduct due diligence before purchasing the property.

“They are selling land that they don’t have yet. Are they disclosing to the public the true facts? How can they honestly sell something they don’t have?” she posed.

Banda Homes director Paul Nderitu, however, dismissed Ms Kihanya’s claims as “malicious” maintaining that the developer had purchased the land from another Kenyatta kin, Kamau Ngengi.

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“We have indeed purchased land about 20 acres hived off from a larger portion that neighbours the Kihanya family land,” said Mr Ndiritu in an interview.

“Ms Kihanya’s claims are just malicious,” he added.

 

 

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Who murdered magistrate’s girl?

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Nine year old Maribel Kapolon, the daughter of Caroline Kemei, a senior resident magistrate at the Githongo Law Courts was found murdered after she went missing ten days ago.

The abduction and murder of Maribel Kapolon has stunned the nation and raised questions on who would want to kill her and why. Ms Kemei is the highest ranking officer at the station, located 15km from Meru town.

Yesterday, Chief Justice David Maraga expressed “great shock” on learning of the death.

“On behalf of my family, the entire Judiciary and on my own behalf, I wish to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to (Kemei) and the rest of the family,” he said in a statement.

“Every effort is being made to find and punish her killers. I have already talked to the Cabinet secretary for Interior and the Director of Criminal Iinvestigations and they have given me a firm assurance that everything is being done to bring them to book,” he added.

The Law Society of Kenya called for exhaustive investigations.

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Showdown looms in Parliament over fuel levy

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Battle lines are drawn as legislators consider a memorandum in which President Uhuru Kenyatta had expressed reservations on the Finance Bill, which MPs had passed an amendment suspending a 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

And today, the MPs find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they are called upon to back recommendations in the memorandum to ease pressure on Treasury, unlock impediments and allow fiscal decisions to move the country forward even as a number of them insist they will oppose.

The lawmakers had, in the Finance Bill, passed an amendment suspending the  levy on petroleum products for a further two years.

But Uhuru returned the Bill to Parliament with a proposal to cut the fuel tax by half to eight 8 per cent.

Despite reports of discord and revolt among Jubilee legislators, the leader of majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, was yesterday confident the motion containing the presidential memorandum on the Finance Bill will sail through without much resistance.

Jubilee MPs are this morning scheduled  for a meeting with President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto where they will lobbied to back the memorandum, while the Opposition team will meet at the County Hall to chart the forward.

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House Minority Leader John Mbadi  and his Senate counterpart James Orengo (Siaya) were emphatic that the Opposition will reject the motion in totality.

“We don’t need any VAT on petroleum products. Whether it is eight per cent it is not good because it still has a spiral effect to the economy,” Mbadi said, adding; “We have a meeting on Tuesday (today) where we may take a position against the proposals by the President.”

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JKIA gets drugs sniffer dogs ahead of direct US flights

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Kenya has acquired three narcotic and explosive busting sniffer-dogs to beef up checks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport ahead of New York-Nairobi direct flights.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Enforcement Manager Kamau Ng’ang’a said the three join a fourth German Shepherd donated by America to be manned by 10 specially trained handlers.

“We are ready and set for the US-Kenya direct flights and this has seen us re-align our strategies to ensure all parcels and carrier bags are checked for prohibited drugs or explosives. We have also acquired new scanners from China that supplement the work of the dogs,” he said.

Kenya is a transit point for drugs bound from places like Afghanistan and the US.

“Our main role is to assess, collect and receive payments but must also ensure illegal substances are not passed through Kenya to other markets. We are glad Kenya now has dog-training schools that will supplement foreign dog-training for enhanced results,” Mr Ng’ang’a said.

Kenya has received the final nod to start direct Kenya-US flights which will open a new avenue for the movement of goods and passengers thereby helping shore up revenue for both countries.

Main exports from Kenya to the US include clothing which earned Sh37 billion last year.

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Flower exporters expect higher revenue from sales to the US with Kenyan traders enjoying lower import charges due to the shorter route.

The dogs’ unit was established in January 2005 and has helped nab consignments of heroin, cocaine and bhang as well as other harmful chemicals conceiled in carrier bags and parcels.

Mr Ng’ang’a said the dogs would help fast-track inspection thereby supplementing the physical and scanning checks at the international airports.

The handlers were trained locally with some undertaking specialised training in Japan.

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