City tycoon claims Sh6bn rent arrears for school land
Mr Mburu tells Senate team that govt has been illegally occupying 96 acres of his land over the past 40 years. House land teams are investigating payment of Sh1.5 billion to Whispering Farm Limited, one of the three companies (Afrison Export and Import Limited and Huelands Limited) that Mr Mburu owns with his sons.Mr Mburu told the committee that he does not want to be seen as having taken the property from the public, insisting that he owns the 96 acres.
Businessman Francis Mburu during a Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee (PAIC) hearing chaired by Moses Kajwang yesterday. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG
Nairobi businessman Francis Mburu, who is at the centre of parliamentary investigations into land compensation payments, is considering going to court to recover Sh6 billion in rent arrears accrued during illegal occupation of his land by two schools in Kiambu’s Ruaraka area. Mr Mburu told the Senate Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) that the government has been illegally occupying 96 acres of his land over the past 40 years that the schools have been in existence. The schools were founded in 1981 and 1989.“I will be taking this matter to court to seek rent for the 34 years that the schools have been occupying my land, which is valued at Sh5.9 billion. I hope this committee will be fair to me and help me get my rent,” Mr Mburu told the committee chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang.The Senate and the National Assembly’s committee on Lands are investigating payment of Sh1.5 billion to Whispering Farm Limited, one of the three companies (Afrison Export and Import Limited and Huelands Limited) that Mr Mburu owns with his sons.
The money is part of the Sh3.2 billion that the government will pay Mr Mburu for acquisition of 13 acres of his land on which Drive Inn Primary School and Ruaraka High School sit.“I have a court order showing that the government has been sitting on my land illegally. I have a court order allowing me to demolish illegal structures, including the two schools. But I have not evicted the schools because I care for the children. I hope you will be fair to me,” Mr Mburu told the committee that is probing the payment of Sh1.5 billion compensation.Mr Mburu told the committee that he does not want to be seen as having taken the property from the public, insisting that he owns the 96 acres, which the government took possession of 40 years ago. “The government has been sitting on 96 acres of my land for 40 years without paying me. This is unfair and I hope this committee can help me get paid,” he said.Former Education PS Prof. Karega Mutahi (left) at Ruaraka High School at a past prize giving day: The school sits on Mr Mburu’s land. File photo | Bonface Malinda | KNAMr Mburu offered to refund the money that the government has paid him in compensation in return for his prime land.About four years ago, the government paid Mr Mburu a Sh2.4 billion compensation for 37 acres of land in which the General Service Unit (GSU) housing units stand.
“This land is registered in my name. Can you as a committee consider giving me back my land and I refund the money that the government has paid me?” Mr Mburu said.“Thousands of children, some of whom are in university today have been educated there illegally. I have not closed those schools. I have not been unfair to my children but I have an order to demolish those schools and all other illegal buildings,” Mr Mburu said.Mr Kajwang, members Fatuma Dulo, Kimani Wamatangi and Ledama ole Kina assured Mr Mburu that the committee will be fair in the investigations and make recommendations that protect the public interest. “We are not here to take away your property. This committee will be fair to you and the government cannot take away your land unfairly. We cannot summon you here and take away your land,” Ms Dulo said.ALSO READ: French tycoon’s custody casts spotlight on Bolloré in Kenya