Detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Wednesday arrested the main suspect in the Westlands mistery evictions.
Zachary Baraza, a Bungoma County politician who vied for the Bungoma gubernatorial seat in the August 2022 general elections was presented before court as detectives sought to detain him for 14 days.
The politician who runs an auctioneering firm dubbed Siuma Auctioneers was linked to the violent eviction of a family in Westlands, Nairobi.
He is currently being detained at Muthaiga Police Station after the court granted the detectives their request pending further investigations into the case..
The complainant Niraj Shah said that Baraza led 25 people to their family home and destroyed the establishments.
The DCI said they have since established that buildings on the parcel of land were extensively vandalised and losses incurred amounted to Sh70 million.
The court heard that since Baraza was arrested, the household goods and other personal effects of the complainant are yet to be recovered.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that those household goods and personal effects may have been sold on the instructions of Baraza,” Sergeant Eric Onyango said.
The police said Baraza should remain in custody as they are yet to record statements from witnesses and a comprehensive valuation report by a registered property valuer to determine the actual loss incurred by family.
According to Niraj Shah and his wife Avani Shah, they are the legal occupants since their lease to the land, which was allegedly bought by a private company in 2010, expires in 2048.
Ksh.80 million worth property demolished
The couple has condemned the demolition of their Ksh.80 million worth property by a mob allegedly deployed by a private developer.
For over 40 years, the Shah’s have called the parcel of land their home but the Ksh.80 million property now looks nothing close to its former self.
Niraj said the investor in question demolished the house without following police protocol to do so.
“The right procedure is for them to go to the police, get assistance and come with the police. There is a procedure to follow if you have to evict someone but none of them were followed,” said Niraj.
Avani said Baraza showed her a document purporting that a private company named ‘Lariak Properties’ had bought the land from Metro pharmaceuticals in 2010.
The Shah’s however maintain that they are the legal occupants since their lease to the land is still valid, adding that they are in possession of a court order dated November 1, 2022, which directs that the plaintiff be restrained from trespassing or interfering with the couple’s possession of the land.
The couple claims that the eviction was executed without following due process and their efforts to seek help from authorities including the area police hit a deadlock.
A search at the registrar of companies shows that Lariak properties was registered in 2002 and has four directors namely Nathaniel Kipkemboi Barmasai, Samuel K. Chepkwony, John Kamaiyoa Rotich and Joel Kiplangat who sources say are connected to a high profile person.