• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Taarifa News

Latest News Around the Globe

UDA Cartels Seize Control of the Buxton Housing Project while Former Tenants endure Poverty

211 300

The Buxton Housing Project which was the pilot program for affordable housing initiative has turned out to be one of the biggest scams in the annals of the Kenya Kwanza Administration.

The project which started under the former Jubilee regime was proposed and marketed as a model affordable housing project, but Buxton Point in Mombasa has ended up a channel for the corrupt and epitome of receipt.

Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma has authoritatively revealed that 90% of the Buxton housing units have been bought off by a powerful UDA official.

This is amidst fears that a number of powerful individuals in the Kenyan Kwanza Government have lined up to buy off most of the proposed and ongoing affordable housing projects which raises moral questions on the purpose of the housing project which is under contest in court.

According to MP Kaluma,the housing project is meant to benefit the rich and not the poor.

“Who has benefitted from the Affordable Housing units built at Buxton, Mombasa?I’m told a single individual has taken 90% of the units!

Kenyans have been turned into UDA party Kenya,” Kaluma posted on his social media accounts.

This comes after  the Senate Committee on Roads, Transportation and Housing, responded to a petition by the evicted residents in partnership with Haki Yetu organisation questioning the purpose of the project.

On March 5, 2021, the 522 residents were forcefully evicted and obliged to find low-cost rental accommodation in already overcrowded neighbouring settlements.

The promise and hope were that once the units were complete, they would be given priority to own the new homes.

The developer, Suleiman Shabhal, of Gulf Cap Limited, is on record – as the internet never forgets – stating that they would pay just Sh6,000 per month as part of a Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) to acquire ownership of the units.

But things seem to have turned around with top UDA mogus lining up to collect rent after buying most of the projects and will only be charged land rates as per our investigations.

There have been  several petitions by evicted tenants of the old estate with legal counsel from Haki Yetu.The senate on it’s part  has robustly engaged Mombasa County Government and the developer to unravel the facts behind the tendering, contract and the prospective beneficiaries of the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The Senate Committee on Lands and Housing visited Buxton and brought their report and recommendations.

Senator Bonny Khalwale described the housing project as a scandal in the making, claiming Mombasa people had been swindled of their land while the new housing units were sold off to the rich.

In addition, he told the House that former tenants were denied compensation and not offered a viable option or plan to own one of the new units. Put another way, what was advertised as affordable and social housing resulted in the former 520 tenants being forcefully evicted and obliged to seek shelter in already overcrowded informal settlements.

As part of the PPP, two thousand units were to be constructed, with 90% going to the investor and ten per cent remaining with the county government. As Senator Mohamed Chute of Marsabit pointed out in the Senate, the investor was the big winner as he was granted ten acres of public land that didn’t cost him a shilling.

The two senators claimed the prime land is worth Sh3 billion, while in return the county received a mere 200 units valued at Sh640 million.

“You don’t need to be a mathematics professor to realise this is a massive fraudulent deal,” Khalwale said.

The Senate also complained about the poor quality of the new units which they claimed were even smaller than the units that were demolished with one observer alleging you could hardly put a king-size bed into most of the bedrooms.

Senator Chute hl requested the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the Senate to investigate the land matter as the National Land Commission is yet to explain to the public how public land could be privatised in such a manner.

The senate also  pressed Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir to explain why former tenants of demolished houses at Buxton estate would not benefit from the new Sh6 billion modern affordable units.

Interestingly, President Ruto had  hailed  GulfCap Real Estate for its efforts in completing the project.

He officially broke  ground for Phase 2 of the Buxton Point affordable housing project and the neighbouring Mzizima estate.

Despite the President  officially handing  over to the owners the completed Phase 1 of the Buxton Point which has 584 units,the situation on the ground is different.

The Sh.6 billion project has attracted a lot of global attention after GulfCap Real Estate was awarded the Most Promising Emerging Affordable Housing Developer title in Windhoek, Namibia.

But observers in the industry are now raising the intentions of the company which they say is being used by the rich to exploit the poor.

President Ruto has always and  consistently championed the affordable housing project as one of his pet projects despite it having started under the former regime.

His administration allocated Sh35.2 billion towards the affordable housing programme in line with his plans to deliver 250,000 affordable housing units annually to Kenyans.

Phase 2 of the Buxton Point project was scheduled to have 1,500 units in 16-storey blocks in what could be yet another big scandal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *