At least 75 people who formerly delivered supplies or bought homes from the defunct DN International are preparing to launch a fresh lawsuit against the real estate developer in a case that has drawn in Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
The lead petitioner, Francis Bayingana, told The New Times last week that it’s unfair for KCB to take over the land that was used as collateral in the Green Park Villas housing project in Kigali’s Rusororo area after DN International failed to complete the construction works.
The petitioner says the realtor will be sued as part of last-ditch efforts to help those who supplied construction materials or made down payments for housing units to recover their money by selling the land on which the homes were to be erected.
Bayingana said they are suing for over Rwf780 million as the realtor failed to deliver the promised homes and didn’t bother to pay critical suppliers of materials and services, from security guards to iron sheet and cement providers.
“If all goes well, we will be in court by next month,” Bayingana said, adding that the petitioners were working with lawyers to file the case as soon as possible.
“What we are requesting for is to regain our right. We want the remaining assets in the project to be brought back to DN International so we can claim them,” he added.
The petitioners are demanding payment for investments made on the development of one of the realtor’s housing project (Green Park Villas) in Gasabo District, which was incomplete when the scandal-hit DN International failed to operate, forcing the owner, Nathan Lloyd, to flee the country in 2011.
How issues arose
When the company folded, as a financier of the project, KCB seized the incomplete estate in an effort to recover over a Rwf1.5-billion loan it was owed. But the bank did not take care of paying those who supplied construction materials or the prospective homeowners who had made down payment on the houses.
Bayingana said KCB, which took over the project as it now owns the land on which the incomplete homes were built, should be in the position to shoulder the pending liabilities.
George Odhiambo, the acting managing director of KCB Rwanda, said the bank has always been willing to reach an agreement with mortgage investors with supporting evidence of payment through DN International bank account in KCB.
“Regarding DN International suppliers, KCB has previously advised suppliers to register their claims with the appointed liquidator who is coordinating the recovery effort from DN International assets and who will provide further instructions/guidance,” he told The New Times by email.
Meanwhile, the Lower House, acting on a petition from DN International suppliers, has embarked on analysing the issue surrounding Green Park Villas project.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economy and Trade has so far consulted different stakeholders on the issue, including KCB as a financier, petitioners themselves, as well as Rwanda Development Board, which had licensed DN International.
The committee is expected to table a report of their analysis of the issue in the chamber’s plenary session with hopes that the House will draw conclusive recommendations on how to help petitioners regain their rights.