Optiven limited (Greenhouses scandal ( they are paying investors now)
The case pitting Optiven Group Limited and disgruntled investors has been dragging at Kiambu law court for years and investors accuse Optiven Group Limited of ignoring their pleas for a refund that has now taken over five years Optiven Group Limited is owned by business man George Wachiuri and is headquartered in Nairobi.
The company recently issued statement indicating that they have started the process of refunding the investors.
Optiven Ltd took the initiative to compensate all customers who bought greenhouses at the Kilimo Tujijenge project, after the partner who had been paid to do this reneged on executing their part of the deal.
Soon after 2017, it became clear to Optiven that SME Resource Centre Ltd and its CEO Josephine Gathoni aka June Gathoni were bent on not delivering what they had promised. Optiven took a quick step to report this entity and its director to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), upon which a criminal case has been ongoing for the last 4 years at the Kiambu Law Courts. Optiven and several Kilimo customers are state witnesses against SME Resource Centre and Josephine Gathoni in this ongoing case.
It all begun with a small group of investors, leasing several greenhouses in Laikipia- together with the crops. After a period, a sustained media blitz attracted more investors into the plot. It is their new cash investment, paid upfront, that was used to settle what was owed to the initial investors.
Trouble begun for this cleverly thought out pyramid scheme when no more members were joining the scheme. This meant that there is no new cash coming in to pay the already existing members.
Goldenscape had greenhouses which it was leasing together with the crops (whole package).
These gardens were of two sizes 8x15m at KSh320,000 and returns of KSh 400,000 per year – the returns were paid in two seasons after every six months and 8x30m at KSh.380,000 and returns of KSh 550,000 per year payable in two seasons. The capital investment was paid upfront.
Banda Homes Limited
Banda Homes Scandal: Troubled real estate firm Banda Homes is facing imminent collapse after an investor asked the court to liquidate the firm. Susan Obuya, who is an accountant based in Netherlands has asked the High Court to liquidate the company for failing to repay her investment of Sh. 5.9 which she poured into the firm to have a maisonette house built for her in 2019.
In May 2020, Banda Homes hit the headlines after it was busted for what looked like another real estate scam. The firm had failed to deliver houses to its clients two years after receiving hundreds of millions. The buyers bought the houses in an off housing plan. The houses were to be built along Thika Superhighway at Pinewood and Rosewood estates. The buyers paid Sh. 3.9 million each for the houses. A site visit that was conducted by buyers revealed that the houses are far from ready.
In February 2020 also, Banda Homes Limited was accused of shortchanging their buyers. The developer was accused of failing to deliver homes to buyers despite having received deposits amounting to Sh 1.5 billion since 2018.
Gakuyo real estate
Last year, an audit report revealed how Bishop Gakuyo channeled members’ savings from the Ekeza Sacco account to a personal account only accessed by himself and his wife.
The report said Gakuyo used the money to fund his lifestyle and acquire numerous personal properties worth millions of shillings. The funds were transferred between 2015 and 2017.
Gakuyo moved Sh88 million to his account in 2015, Sh850 million in 2016, and a further Sh625 million in 2017.
Of the Sh1.5 billion wired to his account, Sh507 million was loaned to a section of Ekeza Sacco members who sought to purchase homes under Chosen Green City, a housing project in Kabati, Murang’a County. The housing project was being undertaken by Ekeza’s sister company, Gakuyo Real Estate.
Apart from the photographs, Home & Away also established that many of the comments on the Simple Homes page were made by Facebook pages as opposed to Facebook accounts.
One individual can have as many pages as possible under one account. Additionally, any negative comment on the company ‘s timeline was deleted and the poster blocked instantly. Quite surprising, bearing in mind that corporates use criticism to correct issues and build themselves.
Joshua said: “Simple Homes created pages of their own to show innocent Kenyans that people were excited, responding and investing in their projects. This obviously led to three or four people falling for their scam trap per post.”
A website search lead us to a Francis Kithusi as the website admin, but he distances himself from the alleged rogue company.
“I am a web designer and was contracted by Lee Rukwaro to do the Simple Homes websites. I did it and was paid. Later, they called and asked me to deactivate it because they got someone else to redesign the site and I had no reason not to oblige.
Suraya Properties’ Lynx-Royal Estate:
Investors have experienced a six-year delay with no delivery in sight since the promised handover date of 2014. The units promised were going at Ksh 2.2 million for a bedsitter and up to 5.95 million for a two-bedroom ensuite unit. Aggrieved investors have taken the company involved, Suraya Properties Ltd, to court after repeated pressure on the company to deliver failed.