Zachary Barasa is the owner of the now infamous Siuma Auctioneers. His company has been involved in high profile evictions and the recent illegal demolition of a multi-million house.
Westlands land saga
The Siuma Auctioneers proprietor was summoned by the DCI to aid in the investigations of a disputed one-acre prime parcel of land.
Avani Shah, wife to Niraj Shah, told police that Barasa showed her a document purporting that a private company named Lariak Properties, had bought the land from Metro pharmaceuticals in 2010.
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The Shah’s, however, maintain that they are the legal occupants of the home, since their lease to the land is valid and expires in 2048. They further said that they are in possession of a court order dated November 1st, 2022, which directs that the plaintiff be restrained from trespassing or interfering with the couple’s possession of the land.
The property, which is valued at about Ksh 80 million was demolished by a mob deployed by the private developer. For over 40 years, the Shah’s have called the parcel of land their home.
“I used to call this a home until Friday Morning and today I can’t even call it a home it’s in shambles. It’s questionable because my father had renewed this lease in 1998 and it is valid for 50 years so it is going to expire in 2048 and they claim they bought the land in 2010 so we are questioning; bought from who? How did they do it and how did they transfer the land to themselves?” Niraj said, speaking to journalists.
Shortly after the arrest of Barasa, Police asked the court to allow them to hold him for fourteen days as they investigate the incident.
The mystery that detectives want to solve is the person who contracted Barasa to demolish the house, as they are speculating that there is a bigger force behind the demolition. The investigators further revealed that whereas Barasa had told them he was contracted by a faceless owner of the land, he had refused to divulge his identity.
The Shahs were directed by police to continue living in the property, even though the structure was demolished by hired goons.
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Barasa, who refused to disclose his master, told police he had been given an order to evict the family.
He added after the eviction, he handed over the structure to the owner who continued with the eviction of the occupants from the one acre land.
“Mine was to implement the court order and I handed the house to the owner,” he said.
Freed on bail
After a court hearing on Thursday 11th November, 2022, Barasa was released on a cash bail of Ksh 200,000 on condition that he should be reporting to the investigating officers whenever he is summoned to do so.
In 2020, Barasa’s company was contracted to evict former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Personal Assistant, Jomo Gecaga, from an apartment at Riverside estate in Nairobi.
Gecaga’s eviction notice from the high-end apartment in Nairobi’s Riverside estate came after falling out with former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero over rent.
Siuma auctioneers is widely known for evicting and auctioneering properties in major cities after receiving court orders.
Barasa has previously shown and acted on his interest in politics. Earlier this year, he declared his interest to run for the position of Governor in Bungoma County. Drumming up support for himself across the county, he claimed that he is the only person in Bungoma county who has executed projects that are the ‘responsibility of the government’.
He also claimed to have carried out a lot of projects like repairing roads, paying school fees, building hospitals.