THE Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that the NSSFâ€™s multi-billion shilling Nsimbe housing estate project was illegal. The court said the venture was formed without the approval of the Attorney General, the governmentâ€™s legal adviser, and was, therefore, unconstitutional.
The $225m project for 5,000 housing units was being undertaken by Nsimbe Holdings, a joint venture between Mugoya Estates and Premier Development Company, a subsidiary of the National Social Security Fund.
Mugoya Estates had purportedly contributed sh8.5b worth of land for the deal, giving it 51% ownership of the venture. Premier contributed sh8.2b to form Nsimbe Holdings Ltd.
But the court argued yesterday that the creation of Nsimbe was â€œnull and void.â€ It added: â€œThe company does not exist in law. It is a non-entity which cannot be sued or sue.â€
The court argued that as a minority shareholder in the joint company, the NSSF put public funds â€œat risk and beyond the control of the Auditor General and Parliament.â€
Earlier, the Inspector General of Government, Justice Faith Mwondha, had declared the contract illegal because the then minister in charge of the NSSF, Bakoko Bakoru, had no power to approve the venture without Cabinetâ€™s approval. â€œThey cannot proceed with the project,â€ she said yesterday.
Former NSSF board chairman Onegi Obel and managing director Leonard Mpuuma are on trial at the Buganda Road Court over abuse of office and causing financial loss to NSSF.
A warrant of arrest has been issued against Mugoya Isabirye, the owner of Mugoya Estates, who is also facing other fraud charges in Kenya. Bakoko Bakoru fled the country.
The case had been filed by Nsimbe in which it challenged as illegal the IGGâ€™s investigation into the deal and the freezing of its accounts.
Court cancels NSSF-Nsimbe estate deal