Nation Media Group is receiving heat after details emerged suggesting they might be in bed with directors of Mahiga Homes Ltd who have failed to finish off-plan housing projects in Kiambu, Nairobi, and Kajiado counties.
On 9th June Daily Nation Smart Company ran a story that laid bare how housing units that Mahiga Home had promised to interested homeowners was but a pale shadow as the houses lack basic amenities like water, electricity, and sewerage system.
Journalist John Mutua cited cornerstone estates in Kimunyu located along Kenyatta Road at exit-14 of Thika Superhighway, Rockville estates on Kangundo road, Rock Gardens in Ruiru and Osoit Gardens Kitengela as some of the housing projects which were poorly done.
“We are living here in darkness and the management isn’t even having the courtesy to remedy the situation. Some of us have even bought our own generators because as you can see we are on own on,” a resident was quoted as saying in the article.
Soon after furious Mahiga Homes Directors, Patrick Waweru Muchoki, Joseph Thuo Ruhiu accompanied by their lawyer Janet Kiboi wrote a letter to Nation Media Group threatening to seek legal action for running the story which they claimed “was false” and requested that the Daily Nation pull down the article from its website and apologize publicly “for causing damage to the company’s image”.
The trio then stormed to the third floor of the Nation Centre editorial desk and demanded to see the editor(s) in person.
In an unexpected turn of events, soon after the ‘meeting’ Nation placed a full-page advert with Mahiga Homes director Patrick Muchoki’s photo announcing that “Mahiga homes partners with Daily Nation as it reaches people in all corners of the country”.
Raising more eyebrows, On Tuesday 16th June Daily Nation wrote a very positive article praising Mahiga homes titled “How real estate firm is navigating virus crisis”. The piece explored the company’s achievement in real estate and how its delivering up to par services amid dealing with covid19 effects in the industry.
People noticed the instant sanitization of the company and flooded the companies emails and calls asking for an explanation, as the last straw Peter Mwaura, the Nation Media Group Public editor on his weekly Friday column hung to dry one Mr. David Abuna who is the Smart Company editor, accusing him of violating Nation Editorial policy.
“He did not respond respond to my questions as to what went awry in publishing the glaringly contradictory stories about Mahiga Homes, all within the space in one week. Nor did Mr. Mutua respond to my question as to whether he still stands by his expose.” He wrote on his weekly Friday column in the Daily Nation of June 26th.
Kenyans on Social Media who had seen the expose on Mahiga homes and who are directly affected had seen a ray of hope dimmed right after by the move by Nation to Sanitize the real estate company.
The company is also alleged to be building on public land in Ruai which has made the county government of Nairobi deny permit as it seeks to repossess the piece of land.