Tycoon wants Sh6b rent in city land row

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci The tycoon at the centre of Sh3.2 billion land on which Ruaraka High and Drive Inn Primary schools sit is now demanding an additional payment of Sh6 billion rent arrears for all buildings erected on the piece of land.

Francis Mburu also wants to return the Sh1.5 billion he was given as compensation so that he retains the land. He told a Senate committee that he would like to have back the land at the current market value of Sh5.9 billion, which is higher than the Sh3.2 billion that he is being compensated.

According to him, the only legal building there are the houses developed on the 37-acre piece of land occupied by the General Service Unit headquarters as he is the one who sold it to the government.

“The land is worth Sh5.9 billion and it is because of this that I am taking the matter to court to demand rent arrears amounting to Sh6 billion. I have discovered this world is not fair to me,” he said.

The entire land is 96 acres out of which GSU occupies 37, while the two schools occupy 13.5. Part of the remaining 59 acres were taken during the expansion of Outering Road, a chief’s camp and the rest grabbed by squatters. Appearing before the Senate Public Accounts Committee, Mburu said despite him being lenient to the schools, he has been taken advantage of.

“I have a court order to demolish the two schools but I have been very fair so that we can conclude this inquiry,” he said. Committee chairperson Moses Kajwang’ assured Mburu investigations would be done in accordance with the law.

Although the committee declined to listen to him until all the directors of the three companies appear before them on Monday, the committee said it would invite Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, National Treasury and all the relevant stakeholders to shed more light on the matter.

In particular, Kajwang who, defended the committee’s move to investigate the matter, said it will also establish why the compensation was paid during the electioneering period.

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dhullo assured Mburu the committee was not on a witch-hunt mission and that their aim is to establish the truth. Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina sought to know why Mburu took long to demand compensation yet the schools have been in existence for more than 30 years.

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