I lost Sh10m in cow sheds scam, says contractor

Monday April 25 2016

Cow sheds in Mwariki Estate in Nakuru. A contractor has alleged being swindled Sh10m after being commissioned by a firm to construct cow sheds for farmers at various places in Kenya. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cow sheds in Mwariki Estate in Nakuru. A contractor has alleged being swindled Sh10m after being commissioned by a firm to construct cow sheds for farmers at various places in Kenya. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ERIC MATARA
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A contractor with Manilla farm, a company with links in South Africa that is reported to have swindled farmers millions of shillings, has claimed he was conned Sh10 million by the company.

Mr Moses Mbugua, a director of the Westbank Construction Company, was contracted by the Nairobi based firm to construct cow sheds for farmers at various places in Kenya, but is yet to receive payment nine months after he completed the project.

After publishing a story on the scandal last week, the Nation has since learnt that the number of those conned could be more than 140 after it emerged that the company had engaged several other farmers from parts of western Kenya, Nyanza, Central and Rift Valley.

“I entered into a contract with the Manilla farm in July last year to build cow sheds for farmers. They said they were helping the farmers acquire high yield milk cows,” he said, claiming he had spent Sh3.5 million to put up the sheds.

Among the places where he successfully constructed cow sheds for farmers include Kerugoya, Igonji, Kiambu, Ruai, Murang’a, Ikainu and Nakuru.

He has tried to reach Mr Emilio Mwangi, under whose name the company is registered, unsuccessfully.

“They can’t be reached on phone. It was not until yesterday that l learnt they had closed shop,” he said.

According to Mr Mbugua, the last time he visited the company’s offices was last Wednesday but was told by the receptionist that the firm’s directors were away.

At least 140 farmers have come out claiming to have lost their cash to the firm that promised to sell them cows imported from South Africa.

According to the farmers, the company through an advertisement on local dailies mid last year promised to help them acquire pedigree cows.