One of the shadiest business and get-rich-quick schemes in Kenya is the housing development sector, which those who have got their second degree and some English accent call Real Estate Sector.
Kenya’s real estate sector is not rosy, the firms are struggling, from Cytonn, Centum, Urithi, Lettas Developers, Banda Homes, you name them. The sector might as well have been funded by the proceeds of crime and the unsuspecting people are the ones who are buying into the con and paying for the failed projects.
However, as we have warned in the past three articles about the risk of investing in Cytonn, today we would like to concentrate on one other Housing development Sacco that is in dire straits.
The Urithi Housing Sacco which has been covered in some sections of the media is really struggling and will go down with Kenyans hard-earned money.
Apart from failing to clear the loans that it took so as to fully buy the plots where some of its projects were advertised to be, Urithi has done a classic thing which most of the corrupt real estate firms are doing, change its name.
The firm which is led by a Mr. Samuel Maina is notorious for not issuing its clients with title deeds from as far back as 2015.
Case in point is Panorama Gardens in Gatanga and Tola 3 and Tola 4 located behind Mang’u High school which were marketed and sold by Urithi as ready plots for immediate development and attracted 400 plus investors, with an eighth of an acre going for Sh2.25 million and sh2.4 million respectively. Not a single investor can develop the property because none has been issued with title deeds despite clearing their payments. All they have is ownership certificates or agreements they entered with Urithi.
The Urithi Premier Sacco which is part of the Urithi Housing Sacco, changed its name to Anchor Premier Sacco.
This, a source intimated to 254news, helps the company hide its tainted identity. Others like Banda Homes have done so and we shall cover this in the coming weeks.
Just this year, Urithi Sacco management hired models to pose at one of its unfinished housing projects in Nairobi so as to dupe clients that work was ongoing.
The unfinished project at Joska-Kamulu christened Osteen Terrace hired models who stood at strategic locations in the project area. A photo was then taken and shared on social media pages belonging to Urithi.
The houses which were supposed to be completed in 2018, for a project that started in 2016, remain incomplete to this day.
A member of the Sacco who did not wish to be named told 254news that ‘Urithi sold them a parcel of land to which it didn’t have ownership of’.
The above has meant that the Sacco cannot produce or give its clients their title deeds.
In April this year, the management called a meeting with the aggrieved members of the Sacco to calm them and try to control the bad press, but the meeting turned chaotic as members threatened to lynch the chairman, the problem is that the management have never satisfactorily explained what they did with the members’ contributions. Insiders believe that their monies were used to fund UhuRuto campaigns.
At one point the Sacco managers tried to get some Ksh3 billion from Ferdinand Waititu, the Governor of Kiambu but as things turns out now, the problem has been exacerbated by the governor’s suspension and it seems the only option now is to change the names of the Sacco to ‘hide from reality’ with an aim of luring the new unsuspecting clients into the abbys.
Urithi Sacco leads group of developers who have been left with properties they cannot sell, and loans they cannot service either due to poor projection, mismanagement or a housing crunch.
Mr Samuel Maina who is the chairman of this struggling Sacco and David Kariuki Ngare are birds of same feathers. Kariuki after getting the idea of conmanship, left Maina way back in 2013 to set up Gakuyo Real Estate and later Ekeza Sacco where he was recently accused of swindling its members over Sh1 billion.
For starters, Urithi Sacco is now appearing in two faces; Urithi Housing Cooperative Society which focuses on providing land and housing solutions with no title deeds and Urithi Premier Sacco which is specialised in providing Savings and Credit platform. Both faces are allegedly full of complaints, dishonesty and conmanship.
Urithi played deaf ears to the many complaints from its clients just like what the country recently witnessed of Ekeza Sacco. They are now engaging in cheap PR. Today they took a number of unsuspecting investors to Kamulu and Joska area to view their “projects”.