Kenya: More Trouble for Suraya As Prime Property Up for Auction

As the investors claiming to have been conned by Suraya Property Group continue to record statements with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in the coming days, a local bank Monday announced the sale of one of the group's prime projects located on Kabarnet Drive off Ngong Road.

AUCTION

The property, Lynx Royal apartments comprising 52 bedsitters, 20 studios, 47 one-bedroom units, 37 two-bedroom units and 45 two-bedroom units is one of the projects that the investors had paid for starting 2013 hoping to move in by 2015.

Today however, what stands in place of the envisioned apartment are old weathered and incomplete apartment blocks whose construction obviously did not stall yesterday.

The apartment is being sold through a public auction advertised by Keysian Auctioneers and published in Monday's Daily Nation.

"Under instructions of our principals, the chargees, in exercise of their statutory power of sale, we shall sell by public auction the under mentioned properties and all improvements erected thereon," stated the advert that listed the apartment's sale date as July 3 starting 11am.

The property is among a list of projects that Suraya real estate firm has been accused of not completing within the stipulated sale agreement timelines leading to a state of panic among its numerous investors a number of whom have cleared up to 80 per cent of their payments.

Others are Fourways Junction phase II, Lynx apartments on Muchai Drive, Loneview apartments on Mombasa Road among others.

The announcement of the sale of Lynx Royal apartments contradicts an earlier statement by Suraya chief executive officer Peter Muraya who on Sunday announced that the firm had acquired a Sh1.6 billion loan from two banks to complete its mega housing projects whose construction had derailed.

TROUBLES

One of the investors Ms Wairimu Thumbi is a victim of the apartment under auction that she says was sold out and another dubbed Encasa on Mombasa Road. She said she paid 80 per cent of the purchase price but is yet to get her units.

"On both units I have done all the payments except the last payment that you only make when you are handed over the units. I want the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate the situation because you cannot tell me that so much billions of shillings have been taken from investors but there is no project that has been completed," she said.

Ms Wairimu said she has faith the DCI will look into their troubles and act so that the firm can revert what they owe their clients or wind up the projects within an agreed time-frame.

Close to 100 investors had by Monday recorded their statements with the DCI.

Some, after waiting since 2013 for their units said they no longer want the houses they paid for but a total sum of the deposits they made topped up with the accrued monthly interest which they want tabulated as the ones prescribed for defaulters.

Ms Susan Kariuki, another victim of the apartment under auction told the Nation that her chama group, Jiendeshe Women Group bought three units in 2013 with the aim of renting them out to the group's members in 2015.

However, to date, the group is yet to enjoy the fruits of their investment.

In her statement, Ms Kariuki told the DCI that the decision to buy the apartments through off-plan method was arrived at in one of their group meetings in 2011 where a member suggested they try investing with Suraya.

SAVINGS

"The total for the three units was Sh8.2million which we started paying in 2013 in instalments. To date we have paid a total of Sh6.3 million but the apartment that was to be completed by 2015 is still incomplete," she said.

Mr Shadrack Munyoki begun paying his first instalment of Sh2.1m for a two bedroomed unit of the Lynx apartments at Muchai drive in July 2016 which to date is still at the foundation level.

He told Nation he was making the Sh7 million purchase on behalf of his son who lives abroad but that the group has subjected him to an endless circus.

"There is nothing set up at the site so far. I am fed up with those guys, I need my Sh2.1 million refunded with interest," Mr Munyoki said.

Ms Josephine Murugi first met Mr Muraya through her late husband Francis Mbuthia Mukuna. It is out of the friendship and trust that had developed over time that the couple found themselves investing at Fourways Junction where they live.

"When my husband passed on in February 2013, I decided to invest all the savings I had and so when I learnt that they (Suraya) were investing on Ngong road, I thought why should I not invest with them? I did not have any reason not to believe in them," recalled Murugi adding that in total her investments accrued to Sh 5.5 million.

Along the way, she also looped in her investment group which also invested Sh3 million in a one bed room unit.

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