Inside land row between tycoon SK Macharia and Polish investor that left multi-million villas demolished in Diani

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 21 Feb, 2022 08:52 | 2 mins read
A photo collage of SK Macharia, demolished Hotel Sonrisa in Diani and a protesting Polish national. PHOTOS/COURTESY & KNA

An auctioneering company, Five Eleven Traders and Auctioneers, has defended itself against accusations of being inhumane when they demolished an investment belonging to a Polish national in Diani, Kwale County on Friday, February 18, 2022.

The auctioneers, acting on behalf of a prominent businessman, Samuel Kamau Macharia popularly known as SK Macharia, said they are being vilified on social media for following the law.

“We have a court order issued on February 17, instructing that we get police assistance to execute a decree issued on October 13, 2014, on this land,” Janvan Ngunda, who is one of the auctioneers, said.

The decree, which was certified on January 25 this year, declares that SK Macharia is the bonafide and legal owner of the 1.7 hectares parcel of land under title number Galu/Kinondo/50.

The decree also declares that Ali Khan Ali Muses and Estate Sonrisa Limited be evicted.

Macharia had in 2014 sued Ali and Sonrisa for encroaching on his land.

A ruling in favour of Macharia was appealed by Sonrisa and Ali in 2016 and consolidated appeals were dismissed.

In the suit papers, the bone of contention is the boundary wall.

Sonrisa says their title deed erroneously states that their land measures 0.9 hectares while in the maps and measurements on the ground, it is actually 1.9 hectares.

It is this difference that has brought about the conflict with Macharia, saying Sonrisa has encroached into the 1 hectare of his land.

However, in a rejoinder from her hospital bed at Palm Beach Hospital in Diani, Ms Iwona Strzelecka, whose two villas and another building, with seven guest rooms were demolished, said the auctioneers demolished the wrong place.

She said the order was for eviction of persons on land Galu/Kinondo/50 while her property is on land Galu/Kinondo/48.

She said they were not served with the court orders.

“What we have invested in for over 10 years was put down in under two hours without any warning and without giving us even one minute to remove our belongings. I’m left with what I had on myself,” said Strzelecka. 

“There are only three villas remaining. We have lost approximately Ksh200 million,” the Polish national, who is married to veteran Kenyan rally driver Azar Anwar said.

She said about 20 guests and 25 staff members, had to be evacuated to nearby villas.

Despite Ngunda saying the Friday operation was done without hurting anyone, Strzelecka claims she was beaten by some goons, who were being supervised during the demolition and is now hospitalized.

Ngunda and valuer Gabriel Musya said Strzelecka is playing the victim card and even invoked political names to gain public sympathy.

“She talked about a lot of things, throwing political names and political parties here and there. To what benefit was she invoking these names if not to gain public sympathy and political mileage?” Ngunda said.

On his part, Musya said the Polish national should instead apologize to them.

“This is a democratic country. If she feels aggrieved by the courts, she should appeal in court and not in public,” he said.

The dispute is still in court and one of the matters is set to come up for mention on March 3.

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