Investors at Kamuthi Housing Co-operative Society can now breathe a sigh of relief after the firm started issuing title deeds for its multibillion shillings Buffalo Hills and Golf Village gated community project in Kilimambogo, Thika, which last year nearly went under the auctioneers’ hammer over a bad debt.
More than 100 members, who have completed payments for their respective plots, have already been issued with the title deeds, with 501 others expected to receive the ownership documents within the next one and a half month.
According to the society’s secretary, Mr Eliud Njoroge, it is expected that all buyers in the 1,200-acre project will receive their title deeds by February next year, subject to completion of payments for their plots.
This followed negotiations between the management led by the CEO, Mr Chege Thumbi, the land vendor and Sidian Bank, which led to a deal that saved the Sh3 billion project from sinking.
The deal saw the bank “bend its rules” to discharge the land’s title deed which the firm has used as collateral for a Sh420 million loan for the purchase of the land, in order to facilitate processing of individual titles for successful buyers.
The pact was arrived at last year after the society restored its financial abilities after a two-year turbulence which had plunged the project into uncertainty after cash flow declined due to delay in the availing of titles.
According to the agreement, if clients pay for their plots in full, the firm can process and issue them with their individual title deeds, regardless of non-payment by other members.
During a meeting in May 2016, Mr John Mwangi, the then Sidian Bank Thika branch manager, told members that the loan was in arrears and unless it was paid, the bank would sell the land to recover their money.
The threat saw the firm review the prices, and after an intense lobbying, members resolved to contribute additional Sh80,000 payments to bail out the society and bring back the project back to its feet.
The current bank’s Thika branch manager Mr Patrick Wachira said the firm has restored its financial credibility by meeting its loan obligation in time, a thing which he said “is facilitating the processing of title deeds for successful buyers”.
Sidian Bank, according to Mr Wachira, is part of the processing of the title deeds, whereby, in collaboration with the society management, they vet members who have fully paid for their plots and forward the names to the land’s offices.
Mr Njoroge, the secretary, described the issuance of the title deeds as “a major breakthrough”.
Ms Fransica Nyaruai, one of the members who have received title deeds for their respective plots, said most of them had ran out of patience and sometimes they feared that they had lost their investments.