alexa I will sue State over Ruaraka land saga, businessman says - Daily Nation

I will sue State over Ruaraka land saga, businessman says

Saturday July 21 2018

Francis Mburu

Afrison Export and Import Ltd and Huelands Ltd director Francis Mburu at Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices on July 19, 2018 after he was arrested in relation to Ruaraka land. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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The businessman at the centre of the Ruaraka land saga, Mr Francis Mburu, on Friday said he would sue the government for Sh30 billion for taking his land and implicating him in a "non-existent scam".

He said he would take the matter to the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.

Mr Mburu, 65, who spoke to the media minutes after leaving the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices at the Integrity Centre where he had been grilled for more than 14 hours, accused Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko of lying to Kenyans and the government.

SINCE 1981

He accused Mr Sonko and others of illegally allocating over 800 plots that are on his property, adding that he would seek Sh30 billion compensation from the government.

“My companies Afrison Imports Limited and Huelands Limited have never surrendered the land. That land has been my property since 1981. I now want Sh30 billion from the Nairobi County government because they took the property and they have built highrise buildings on it and now they are talking about surrender,” Mr Mburu said.

The visibly agitated businessman said the government had allocated over 13 acres to the public and then claimed that the land was surrendered.

“I have never surrendered any land; my companies have never surrendered any land and on this one, I am going to win,” Mr Mburu said.

PAID RATES

He said there was no scam in the whole issue, accusing the government of creating a non-existent saga over his property.

“This land is not on the 99 years government allocation. Of course if they want me to refund Sh1.5 billion, I will,” Mr Mburu said.

He reiterated that he had paid all the land rates

He said apart from the “small business” that is under contention now, he was doing other businesses with the government yet he was not showing off.

“I am a down to earth person and they are hurting me for nothing. I am not a billionaire. I am just a rich man but not so rich,” he said. He recommended that the powers of the president be restored to save Kenya, adding that several people are enjoying power deviously.

DICTATORSHIP

“People in Kenya don’t care about their reputation. We need dictatorship back. Everyone has powers. We need to restore powers of the president,” he said.

He claimed that he had shown enough goodwill by giving 13 acres to the public yet the law requires that he gives only 10 per cent which is about 9.6 acres of the entire acreage that belongs to him.

Mr Mburu told the media outside the Integrity Centre that he acquired the land legally, adding that he had worked hard for it, but the government was creating a publicity stunt out of it while victimising him.

“I can stay elsewhere, I can move to Zimbabwe. This is a small business and they have soiled it,” Mr Mburu said.

SH1.5 BILLION

Mr Mburu and his two sons Justin Sam and Mark were picked from their house in Karen by officers from the EACC on Thursday. They then took them to the Integrity Centre for grilling.

Businessman John Mutwiri was also arrested and interrogated. Mr Mutwiri is the director of Champions Kenya Limited, through which the money was distributed to other people and businesses.

The officers raided the homes of Mr Mburu and Mr Mutwiri at dawn, confiscating documents and computers. EACC said they had also recovered cash in millions of shillings.

The National Land Commission paid Sh1.5 billion to Whispering Palms Estate's account at Barclays Bank, which in turn paid Champions Kenya Limited owned by Mr Mutwiri a total of Sh930 million.

50 COMPANIES

Within three days, Champions Kenya Limited had paid a total of Sh649 million to 16 entities, among them a forex bureau, insurance companies, law firms and logistics companies.

But Mr Mburu on Thursday night claimed that all the companies paid the money belong to him, saying, “Those are my companies. I have over 50 companies. They blocked my funds after that and I could not withdraw any money.”

EACC sources said about 30 people who include lawyers, bankers, government officials and family members of those involved in the saga are being investigated over their role .

Detectives are seeking to unearth the dubious payment of Sh1.5 billion in the Ruaraka land transactions, although Mr Mburu maintains that the land belongs to him.

COLLUSION

The commission and the Asset Recovery Agency, it is said, have seized properties belonging to the people suspected to have been involved. It also revealed that bank accounts belonging to them were frozen as investigations continue.

Investigators are seeking to establish whether Afrison Import Export Ltd and Huelands Ltd believed to be the owners of the land and officials from the National Treasury and Ministry of Education colluded to defraud taxpayers.

Governor Mike Sonko on Wednesday told a Senate committee that the land belongs to the public. If this is the case, then it means that the government through the NLC, bought its own land.