By BT Writer
The Daily Nation newspaper has received a letter from off plan real estate developer Mahiga Homes Ltd to apologise or face legal action on a “negative” article the media house published about the company.
The story which appeared on page 32 of the Daily Nation Smart Company pull out on 9th June was critical of Mahiga Homes for failing to finish its off plan housing projects in Nairobi and Kajiado counties.
The story which was written by Daily Nation Journalist John Mutua detailed how housing units of Mahiga Home is pale shadow of what was promised to home buyers as the houses lacks basic amenities like water, electricity and sewerage system.
The writer cited Mahiga homes housing projects (Kimuyu and Cornerstone) located along Kenyatta Road at exit-14 of Thika Superhighway near as 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 by the Daily Nation.
In its letter to Nation Media Group legal adviser Sekou Owino, Mahiga Homes company lawyer Janet Kiboi demanded that the Nation Media Group pull down the article from its website and apologize publicly “for causing damage to the company’s image“.
“The Daily Nation being a newspaper with a nationwide circulation has adversely tainted the company’s image. The words in the article are in their ordinary meaning and understood to mean by right thinking members of the public that Mahiga Homes Ltd is indeed dubbed as fraudulent and lacks integrity,” reads a letter from Mahiga Homes Ltd.
The real estate also warned the media house from publishing or disseminating “false and damaging” statements of Mahiga Homes and gave Nation seven days to apologise.
A few days after the article was published Mahiga Homes director Patrick Muchoki placed a full page advert in the Daily Nation with his photo announcing that “Mahiga homes partners with Daily Nation as it reaches people in all corners of the country”.
On Sunday June 14th the article was missing from the Daily Nation website for a few hours before it was uploaded back. On Tuesday 16th June Daily Nation run a positive article on Mahiga homes titled “How real estate firm is navigating virus crisis” detailing the company’s achievement in real estate and how its dealing with covid19 effects in the industry. This is being seen by many as one way the newspaper is trying to sanitize the company.
Mahiga homes has been a subject of discussion lately from Kenyans on social media as it’s home buyers complain of poorly done house units in Nairobi and Kajiado areas.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is already skimming through bank records, tax returns and other transaction details of the off plan real estate company as it tightens the noose on cheats with renewed enforcement of tax laws.
In one of the biggest fraud in the country Simple Homes customers lost Sh500 million in 2018 to the sham company which had packaged itself as a developer and a commission agency, selling homes on behalf of other builders.