The Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi, which is owned by the family of the late Cabinet minister and business tycoon Njenga Karume, was on Monday put up for auction.
The hotel, which is among the few surviving businesses that the late politician left behind, has been earmarked for sale to recover a Ksh257.6 million loan owed to Guaranty Trust Bank.
The Trustee which is headed by three people, one George Ngugi Waireri (Chairman), Margaret Ndete, James Raymond Njenga, Henry Waireri Karume, Kungu Gatabaki and Grace Njoki Njenga has failed to stop the auction by paying the loan. They have numerous times been accused of looting the late Cabinet minister’s estate.
For example, the Jacaranda CEO Charles Kimani has amassed wealth in quite a short time, He bought a prime land in Kiambu, a Mitsubishi, a Volkswagen Touareg and a 6-block apartments in Eastlands, Nairobi.
The IT Manager for the hotel, Gregory Odhiambo has also been accused of hacking accounts and stealing money for the benefit of the trustees. ‘On one particular day Ksh12 million was withdrawn from one of the accounts in three different transactions’, said a staffer at the hotel.
The Trustees take Ksh100k er sitting and the level at which the meetings have increased tells you that they were intent on ‘eating to their fill’.
Where doe GT Bank come in?
Mary M’Mukindia is listed as a non-executive director of GT Bank (alias Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd).
Now the story goes, being a close confidant and friend of Njinga Karume, Mary sat at the board of Jacaranda Hotels Chain and was instrumental in arranging a loan for the hotel chain from GT Bank. The loan was Ksh257 million.
She immediately thereafter resigned and went got a job at the board of GT Bank limited, which is now threatening to auction the Jacaranda Hotel over non-payment of the same loan she helped arrange.
The loan of over Ksh257 million went on to finance the renovation/construction of another franchise of Njenga Karume, the Node Restaurant in Westlands, Nairobi.
Only Ksh17 million was used. Where did the rest of the money go?
Ms. Mary M’Mukindia used her position of being a close confidant of Njenga Karume to fleece his family in his death.
Who is really interested in collapsing the Business empire of Njenga Karume? Who is going to benefit the most from the auctioning of Jacaranda Hotel?
Sources say Mary M’Mukindia bought the non-executive directorship through knowing the inner-workings of Njenga Karume’s empire. She benefits more from the auction.
A month ago, Jane Mukuhi Wahito, a daughter to the late cabinet minister succumbed to cancer of the bile duct. According to sources, she was not treated well by the trustees who mostly were tight-fisted with the money. She asked he be buried in Israel, where she had gone for treatment. A family member, however, said the decision to bury her in Israel had nothing to do with lack of funds but the delay by the board of trustees to release the money.
In September 2019, Njenga Karume’s grand-daughter Michelle Wariara Karume, 25, died in the United States (US) after lacking funds for treatment. She had unsuccessfully begged for funds to cater for her medical bills.
The Other Scam
The Njenga Karume Trustees is full of crooks.
Njenga Karume had a 633 acres tea farm and a factory known as Ngorongo.
The managers of the tea estate, in order to hide profits, sell tea to competitors, the Kanari Tea Factory.