How businessman in Ruaraka land scam shared out the Ksh.1.5B


How businessman in Ruaraka land scam shared out the Ksh.1.5B
Businessman Francis Mburu -- the man who is at the centre of the Ruaraka Land saga. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • In January, Mburu was paid Ksh.1.5B by the Ministry of Education, through the National Land Commission, as compensation for the 13.5 acres parcel of land, on which Ruaraka Secondary and Drive Inn primary schools are built.
  • He was also paid Ksh.600M for the 2 acres affected by the construction of the Outering Road.
  • But Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, while appearing before the Senate Committee probing the Ruaraka land saga, claimed it was public land and documents used by Mburu to seek compensation were fraudulent.

The man at the centre of the controversial multi-billion shillings Ruaraka land compensation has defended the transaction, even as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)digs into the matter.

Francis Mburu, a businessman many hear of but barely know, was grilled for 14 hours by the EACC, in a probe that is narrowing down on three Cabinet Secretaries, three Principal Secretaries and three National Land Commissioners.

Mburu, his two sons and John Mutwiri, a Director with Champions Kenya Limited were for hours probed by the EACC on Thursday July 19, on the controversial payment of upto Ksh.3.9B in compensation for the Ruaraka parcel of land

” I don’t show off, do you know me? I am down to earth person, but they are hurting me for nothing…I am not a billionaire, but I am a rich person…not very rich, just a man on the streets, but very disappointed with Kenyans,”said Mburu.

In January, Mburu was paid Ksh.1.5B by the Ministry of Education, through the National Land Commission, as compensation for the 13.5 acres parcel of land, on which Ruaraka Secondary and Drive Inn primary schools are built.

But how quickly the money was shared out, with Ksh. 930M being deposited in the bank account of Champions Kenya Limited headed by Mburu’s ally John Mutwiri for onward distribution to other companies and individuals within 20 days raising questions.

“Those are my companies, I have got over 50 companies, i did that when they tried to block my money… When I get money from the government, Parliament has approved, these guys are educated they are not fools… I gave an undertaking that if anything happens, i will refund the Ksh.1.5B…what is the big deal?,”Mburu submitted to EACC.

A load of documents, among them a land ownership search dated December 8, 2016, confirm that he was the proprietor of the 96-acre parcel that has raised national interest.

Mburu was paid Ksh.1.8B out of Ksh.2.4B he sought, as compensation for the 34 acre piece of land on which 196 housing units where General Service Unit officers reside are built.

He was also paid Ksh.600M for the 2 acres affected by the construction of the Outering Road.

“The value there is Ksh.400M per acre, I have been giving Kenyans at Ksh.200M per acre, my original land was 96 acres, now what i have sold is 54 acres. I sold at half the value! I bought the land when I was 31 years, and the government has shut me out for 40 acres,”lamented Mburu.

But Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, while appearing before the Senate Committee probing the Ruaraka land saga, claimed it was public land and documents used by Mburu to seek compensation were fraudulent.

Mburu however told EACC detectives that he neither surrendered his land nor consented to its sub-division, accusing the defunct City Council of allocating over 800 plots to residents through the Housing Development Department.

“I am suing Sonko and believe me,I will come up with Ksh.25B, if they want me to refund the Ksh.1.5B I will….and i feel i may as well go to Zimbabwe and settle there, this is a very small business. Once we settle this, I will go to Dubai International Court and get Ksh.200M Dollars,” said Mburu.

The Ruaraka land saga could be President Uhuru Kenyatta’s biggest test yet in his declared war on corruption, with some key members of his cabinet mentioned among beneficiaries of the compensation gravy train.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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