Land owner: I am ready to refund Sh1.5 billion
The owner of the Sh3.2 billion land at the centre of a raging controversy yesterday told Parliament that he was ready to refund money already paid to him in exchange for his land.
Francis Mburu cited frustration by State agencies in seeking compensation for the land, saying he could refund the Sh1.5 billion he was paid and proceed to demolish all the structures on the land, including Ruaraka Secondary and Drive In Primary schools.
This was after Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investments Committee, chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’, said it had ordered the National Treasury not to make a further payment of Sh1.7 billion until it had concluded investigations into the land acquisition by the Ministry of Education.
Mr Mburu, who is the managing director of Afrison Import Export Ltd, Huelands Ltd and Whispering Palm Estate Ltd, also said he was considering going to court to seek Sh6 billion compensation in rent arrears for “illegal structures” on the land.
Ruaraka Secondary and Drive In Primary schools were built in 1984 and 1987 respectively.
The session was adjourned to Monday after the Senate team insisted that the firms’ three other directors should also appear for questioning.
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Apart from Mburu, his two sons – Justin Mburu and Mark Mburu – and Geoffrey Mutisya are listed as directors of the sister companies.
“Would you also consider that I refund the money so that I can get back my land? I have been waiting for 40 years to be compensated for my land. It is an insult. This is land registered under my name. I have orders to demolish all the illegal structures and buildings including the two schools,” Mburu told the committee.
“I am finding that this world is not fair to me. I don’t want to be seen by the public as if I have taken public property.”
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He claimed that the 13.5 acres occupied by the two schools had a market value of Sh5.9 billion and it was a loss for him to sell at Sh3.2 billion.
But the committee said their interest in the matter was to ascertain whether the public lost funds in the acquisition done by the National Land Commission on behalf of the Government.
“We are not here to take your property. I want to assure you that we will be fair to you,” said Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dulo.
Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina said their role was to protect taxpayers’ money in transactions by the State.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko are also expected to appear before the committee to shed light on reports that the land was allocated to the schools by the defunct City Council of Nairobi.
“We will be enquiring about the timing of the transaction,” said the committee chairman.