The Kanji family, one of the most prominent and wealthy families in Kenya, is facing a legal nightmare after a violent attack on their Pinewood Resort property.
The attack, which injured several guests and staff, has exposed a web of internal conflicts, financial troubles, and legal disputes within the family.
Nazir Jinnah, the main suspect behind the attack, is a controversial lawyer and adviser to the Kanji family who allegedly orchestrated the raid to divert attention from the family’s looming debt crisis.
The Kanji family, which owns several luxury hotels and resorts in Kenya, is at risk of losing their assets and reputation in a bitter court battle with their creditors.
This case has drawn public attention and scrutiny, as it reveals the dark side of Kenya’s elite and the corruption and manipulation that plague the country’s legal system.
1 The Pinewood Resort Attack
2 Kanji Family’s Financial Crisis
3 Nazir Jinnah: The Man Behind the Mask
4 What next for the Kanji family?
The Pinewood Resort Attack
The Pinewood Resort attack occurred on November 15, 2023, at around 10 p.m.
The resort, located in Diani Beach, Kwale County, is one of the flagship properties of the Kanji family, who acquired it in 2018.
The resort was hosting a wedding reception for a prominent politician’s daughter, as well as several other guests and staff.
According to eyewitness accounts, a group of over 200 men armed with machetes, clubs, and petrol bombs stormed the resort, shouting and smashing everything in their path.
They attacked the guests and staff, injuring at least 15 people, some critically, and also set fire to several buildings and vehicles, causing extensive damage and panic.
Police arrived at the scene after an hour and managed to disperse the attackers, who fled into the nearby forest.
They arrested 12 suspects, who confessed to being hired by a man named Nazir Jinnah, who allegedly paid them Ksh. 5,000 each to cause trouble at the resort.
The suspects claimed that they were not instructed to harm anyone but only to create chaos and confusion.
However, some of them admitted to using drugs before the attack, which made them more violent and reckless.
The motive behind the attack remains unclear, but sources close to the Kanji family suggest that it was part of a larger scheme to divert attention from the family’s financial woes and legal battles.
This attack also coincided with a court hearing scheduled for December, where the fate of the family’s assets would be decided.
Therefore, it could be seen as an attempt to influence the court’s decision or to buy more time for the family to negotiate a settlement.
Kanji Family’s Financial Crisis
Led by patriarch Abdul Kanji, the Kanji family stands as one of Kenya’s most successful and influential business clans, overseeing various ventures such as luxury hotels, resorts, real estate, agriculture, and tourism.
Beneath this glamorous exterior, however, lurks a financial crisis that jeopardizes the family’s empire and esteemed reputation.
This saga commenced in 2020 when the family secured a Ksh. 4.8 Billion loan from a local bank to acquire Pinewood Resort.
The loan, backed by personal and business assets, including Pearl Beach Hotels Limited and English Point Marina, unraveled into a debacle.
Attributing their failure to repay on time to the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality sector, the family’s excuses failed to convince the bank.
Accusations of financial mismanagement, fund diversion, inflated asset values, and false information in obtaining the loan were leveled against them.
Legal action ensued, with the bank seeking to recover the loan amount, interest, and penalties. A court-appointed receiver took control of the family’s assets, aiming to sell them for debt recovery.
The family, vehemently resisting, appealed to the court, arguing that the sale would inflict irreparable harm to their business and reputation.
They expressed a willingness to negotiate a settlement, accusing the bank and the receiver of colluding in bad faith to defraud them.
However, the court dismissed their appeal, affirming the bank’s and receiver’s rights to enforce contractual obligations. The family’s failure to demonstrate valid reasons for default played a crucial role in the court’s decision.
Noting the family’s rejection of reasonable settlement offers, the court criticized their pursuit of a risky and costly litigation strategy.
The court mandated the family to pay Ksh. 5.2 Billion, encompassing the principal, interest, penalties, and legal costs. Further, it authorized the receiver to proceed with the sale of the family’s assets valued at Ksh. 3.4 Billion.
The family faces a deadline of December 15, 2023, to comply with the court order or risk facing consequences for contempt of court.
Nazir Jinnah: The Man Behind the Mask
Nazir Jinnah is a lawyer and adviser to the Kanji family, who has been involved in their legal affairs for over a decade.
He is also the main suspect behind the Pinewood Resort attack, according to the police and the court.
Nazir Jinnah is a mysterious and controversial figure, who has a history of legal impersonation and fraud.
According to sources, Nazir Jinnah is not his real name, and he has used several aliases and fake credentials to pose as a lawyer and a consultant.
He has also been accused of swindling and extorting money from his clients, as well as manipulating and influencing them to pursue his own agenda.
Nazir Jinnah’s relationship with the Kanji family began in 2012, when he approached Abdul Kanji, the patriarch of the family, and offered his services as a legal adviser.
He claimed to have extensive experience and connections in the legal and business fields, and promised to help the family expand and protect their interests.
He also claimed to be a close friend and associate of the late President Daniel arap Moi, and to have access to the inner circles of power and influence in Kenya.
Abdul Kanji, impressed by Nazir Jinnah’s charisma and credentials, hired him as his personal lawyer and confidant.
He entrusted him with the management and oversight of the family’s legal affairs, and gave him a free hand to negotiate and litigate on behalf of the family.
He also introduced him to his children and grandchildren, who also came to rely on Nazir Jinnah’s advice and guidance.
However, Nazir Jinnah’s true intentions and motives soon became apparent, as he began to exploit and manipulate the family for his own benefit.
He advised the family to take risky and questionable decisions, such as borrowing huge amounts of money from dubious sources, acquiring overpriced and underperforming assets, and rejecting reasonable and favorable settlement offers.
He also created divisions and conflicts within the family, pitting them against each other and isolating them from their friends and allies.
Sources suggest that Nazir Jinnah’s ultimate goal was to push the family into bankruptcy, enabling him to acquire their assets and businesses at a fraction of their value.
Allegedly backed by a network of accomplices and partners, he planned to capitalize on the family’s misfortune once their assets hit the auction block.
Connections within the judiciary and media, willing to support his narrative and agenda, added another layer to his purported scheme.
Yet, Nazir Jinnah’s plan encountered resistance from the bank and the receiver, both aware of his machinations.
The court, unmoved by his arguments and evidence, ruled against him and the family.
In the aftermath of the Pinewood Resort attack investigation, a warrant for his arrest was issued, forcing Nazir Jinnah into hiding.
Undeterred, Nazir Jinnah, who is currently on the run, has not given up on his plan and is still trying to influence and manipulate the family and the public.
He recently released a video, allegedly edited by him and his associates, which portrays the bank and the receiver as the villains, and the family as the victims.
He has also appealed to the public to support the family and to protest against the court’s decision, further threatening to expose more secrets and scandals involving the bank, the receiver, and other prominent figures in Kenya.
Nazir Jinnah’s fate remains uncertain as he faces multiple charges, lawsuits, and the wrath of the Kanji family and the public.
The once-claimed savior of the Kanji family might find himself metamorphosed into their worst enemy and an embodiment of their darkest nightmares as the law and justice close in on him.
What next for the Kanji family?
The future for the Kanji family remains uncertain, shrouded in the lingering echoes of their legal saga—a narrative that has unfolded with unforeseen twists and revelations, showcasing how a family’s destiny can swiftly pivot within the span of mere months.
This gripping tale not only exposes the intricate dynamics within the Kanji family but also unveils the shadowy underbelly of Kenya’s legal and business systems.
The Kanji family’s journey through this legal labyrinth is far from concluded.
Will they successfully navigate the treacherous waters, emerging with their assets intact, or will the weight of debt and rivalry lead to their loss?
Can the family reconcile their internal strife, rebuilding unity and harmony, or will fractures deepen, threatening disintegration?