Kenya’s single largest real estate project and biggest satellite city has been hit by tax evasion charges

One such tax evasion case which Mr Mwagiru cited is land title number 10887, which was sold at Sh842 million but whose entries in the title at the land ministry shows that it fetched a paltry Sh235 million.

  • Investors in Tatu City, Kenya’s largest real estate project and biggest satellite city, came out guns blazing and accused their foreign counterparts of repatriating billions of shillings from the sale of land in Kenya.
  • One such tax evasion case which Mr Mwagiru cited is land title number 10887, which was sold at Sh842 million but whose entries in the title at the land ministry shows that it fetched a paltry Sh235 million.

On Tuesday, investors in Tatu City, Kenya’s largest real estate project and biggest satellite city, came out guns blazing and accused their foreign counterparts of repatriating billions of shillings from the sale of land in Kenya to offshore accounts in Mauritius, Bermuda and Germany without paying taxes.

Tatu City chairman, Nahashon Nyagah, and minority shareholder, Stephen Mwagiru, made the allegation as they sought parliament’s intervention to protect the interest of Kenyans in the multi-billion shilling real estate development and have the foreign directors pay necessary taxes for land sold.

“We noticed irregular entries in titles at the Ministry of Land. I have documents to show that property that was sold at over Sh1 billion is claimed to have been sold at Sh200 million to evade stamp duty and income tax,” Mr Mwagiru said.

To back up their claims, Mr Mwagiru tabled documents before the National Assembly’s land committee showing differences in the amounts of money indicated as having been paid for the transfer of land to potential investors and what was declared in Ministry of Land records.

Mr Mwagiru accused the current Tatu City management, led by Stephen Jennings, of under-declaring valuations in order to “swindle the Kenyan government of income tax.”

According to the two there are several other similar cases of tax evasion bedeviling the satellite city.

“These allegations are very serious because this report shows that the government lost Sh1.38 billion in taxes only. On stamp duty nearly Sh200 million was not paid,” Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny said during the hearing.

Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport and entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors.

Since late last year, the price of land at Tatu City real estate located in Kiambu County has continue to rise unabated, the price has shoot up by nearly a third to Sh10.5 million ($102,108) per quarter acre over the past 18 months after the developer recorded brisk sales last year.

Committee chairperson Rachael Nyamai directed Mr Mwagiru to provide original documents to back his claims in seven days.

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