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Self help group reaps big after a three decade journey

With monthly contributions of Sh50, and a 33 years wait, a group of traders from Ruiru, Kiambu County now own plots valued at over Sh1.8 million in Thika East’s Muthaiga estate.

The 250 members of the Tugenga Self Help Group started contributing the amounts in 1994, and resilience and patience has steered them into realizing their dream of owning plots.

According to their Secretary Geoffrey Kara, the journey has been long and a challenging one, with many opting out while others passing on.

“It started as a dream where we formed the group with each contributing Sh50 each month. This was raised to Sh100 after the 2000’s. We were many, but due to mistrust and impatience, we lost others along the way and it’s sad that they will miss out on their dream,” he said.

Initially, their plan was to contribute as much as possible to buy 62 acres of land in the area. However, due to the high default rate in contribution, they settled for 32 acres.

“The love for alcohol and the fun of life derailed our dream. Waiting for 33 years to own land needs patience and trust but we have succeeded,” he said.

While taking their shareholders to show them their plots yesterday, Kaara, a former Ruiru mayor noted that their dream was to subdivide the land long ago, but some hitches could not let them.

“We are finally subdividing the land. If you or your parents contributed up to Sh21, 750 for all those years, then your plot is ready. We know most of those who we started with are long dead, but their children will inherit the land. They should come to our offices to be shown their plots,” he said.

He said their records are intact and every genuine member will be shown their plots.

Members of the Sacco registered their appreciation and satisfaction after the tour claiming that their dreams would finally be realized.

Mary Wairimu, another investor, called on the Kiambu County government to put up infrastructure and essential amenities like water and electricity to make them comfortable once they settle in the area.

“We need roads, sewerage system, water and electricity to make the area grow because estates are about to come up,” said Wairimu.

On the many cases of land fraud involving land buying companies being reported in the area, the members called on the government to be ruthless on land fraudsters who have swindled unsuspecting buyers millions of shillings in fake land transactions.

They said the government must protect its citizens from these conmen, noting that every land buying company should be investigated to show the land that they deal with and its mother title.

“With the many land fraud cases involving several land companies in the area, investors in land can only hope that one day, they will get their plots. Thus, we can’t hide our delight that our savings have borne fruits,” said David Kivuna, one of the investors.

Last week, a prominent land buying company in Thika, Lesedi developers, was unearthed for conning Kenyans billions of shillings after selling non-existent plots in Juja, Nakuru and Kiambu.

By Muoki Charles


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