Lucy Wachira is the director of Eveready Security Guards Ltd.
Wachira is among Kenyans who have lost their property to land grabbers after being forcefully evicted from her company’s offices in South B, Nairobi.
She claimed that Esteem Energy Limited used a forged title deed to claim ownership of the property and convince the court to grant them an eviction order.
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The security firm was evicted from the premises on September 5, 2022 when a group of people escorted by police officers from Industrial Area Police Station stormed the property.
Here is the story as told by WoK.
Through Kamau Kuria & Company, Wachira and his son who is also the director of the security firm are in court seeking repossession of their property.
In an interview with Sema Ukweli, she noted that she acquired the property on September 22, 1997, and she has been running the security company from the property for the last 26 years.
Wachira recalled how a group of people under police protection stormed her property and ordered them out of the premises.
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“They told me, ‘we have a court order, you’re occupying somebody’s land and you’re supposed to be out’. A policeman said that they were there to fulfill the purpose of the court,” she said.
While Wachira was negotiating with the law enforcers, the men believed to be goons were ransacking rooms in the premises and throwing things outside.
“The drama went on until 4 o’clock when the police officer told me to get what I could before 5 o’clock as the gate would be locked
“I had to look for a lorry to take the few things that we could save; the few things that had not been broken and that we thought would be of value to us,” she said.
Wachira was forced to vacate the premises and rent a different location in a bid to enable her company continue with operations.
“I felt very bad, not only for me but also the over 800 employees we have, they could not understand what was happening
“I just wish that something can be done for the weak in this country because you cannot labour for something only for somebody to claim it,” she said.
Edwin Machira is Wachira’s son, and he joined the company just after completing high school while he was 18 years old.
Joining the security firm, he worked as his mother’s driver and as of 2023, he serves as the company’s director.
According to Machira, Ibrahim Isaak, the managing director of Esteem Energy Limited supposedly bought the land in 2021 from someone else.
He also noted that after heading to court, they found out that Isaak claimed that he had been occupying the land since he bought it.
“We wonder because in 2021 we were still in the premise and we were operating from there, when he claims that he moved to the land in 2021, we are baffled by his claims because we were still operating from there
“He claims that our company came there and pretended to offer security services. They claimed that there was a trespass in their land and the judge ended up agreeing with their claims,” Machira said.
It was after this claims by Isaak, the supposed land grabber, when principal magistrate Edgar Kagoni granted him an eviction order.
“We never saw any one giving is sermons to appear in court or any. We were never served but he got a ruling in court,” Machira added.
During the eviction, Eveready suffered huge losses and lost valuable documents such as accounting records and clients records.
“They did not come to help or gracefully assist us to move our records. All documents were just torn and scattered outside. I would put the losses in hundreds of millions,” he noted.
Following the eviction, the first order of business was to rent a place and secure whatever they had managed to savage.
“We had to look for whatever place we could find to put whatever we were able to save from destruction, and we were able to find a temporary structure where we put our assets,” Machira said.
Interestingly, a property owner who had land neighboring Wachira’s premises also lost ownership of their property.
Machira also disclosed that at some point, fthe land grabbers tried to apply for a Ksh 170,000 million loan using the land as collateral.
“The loan was about to be disbursed but when we found about it, we wrote to the National Bank of Kenya asking why they are giving a loan to a piece of land that has an ongoing case
“I went even further to write emails to other banks and the Kenya Bankers Association incase these guys try to get loans from other banks,” he stated.
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