President Kenyatta signed a co-ownership agreement (on behalf of his mother) with former Taita Taveta MP Basil Criticos on a 16 acres land the two used a s surety to acquire a loan of Sh60 million, but the first family refused to repay the loan, leaving Criticos to take full responsibility of repayment.
Mr Criticos on Wednesday told Mr Justice George Kimondo in Nairobi that President Kenyatta signed the co-ownership agreement on behalf of his mother â€” Mama Ngina Kenyatta â€” only for her to refuse to repay the loan.
â€œMama Ngina Kenyatta refused to honour the debt. She denied responsibility of the debt. So her refusal prompted me to take full responsibility,â€ he told the court.
The bank allegedly demanded to be paid Sh67 million within seven days, failure to which it would act against Basil Criticos Limited â€” which it did. The former MP accused the bank of taking and selling his land even after he offered to repay the loan in 2007.
â€œI made several attempts to redeem the land, but the bank had started subdividing it. They insisted on me paying Sh80 million â€” Sh60 million loan plus Sh20 million guarantee, which I felt was overpriced.â€
He said he offered to redeem his land at Sh63 million, but the bank rejected the offer and sold it at Sh55 million in September 2007.
â€œThe property was grossly undervalued. Highland Valuers Limited, instructed by the bank, valued the land at Sh118 million per acre.â€
His lawyer Allen Gichuhi said the bank later sued Mr Criticos for the Sh20 million guarantee. Mr Criticos said he was seeking damages of the sisal crop that was on the farm and Sh35 million from the bank.