Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo has accused Mombasa tycoon Suleiman Shahbal of defrauding residents over his multi-billion shillings modern housing project in the Buxton settlement, Mombasa.
Mr Mbogo claimed that Mr Shahbal, who won a tender last year to build affordable houses worth R6 billion in Mombasa city center, did not have the money for the project.
Buxton Point Apartments Ltd proposes to build a residential complex with a residential complex. The project on lots LR No. Mombasa / XVII / 625 and 985 includes 162 blocks of flats, four multi-purpose playgrounds, a multi-purpose community center, a sewage treatment plant and internal access roads.
“He said he had 6 billion shrimp. He demolished Buxton houses, paved the way for construction and said he wanted to build modern, affordable houses, but six months later, even after we evicted our people, we don’t see anything yet … there is no construction going on, “said Mr. Mbogo.
The MP, who has his eyes on the governor’s seat in next year’s general election, accused Mr Shahbal of defrauding tenants.
He said Mr Shahbal did not have the funds to build modern houses in Buxton.
“He later told tenants to prepay so he could build the houses. Be careful, be very careful,” he warned.
Bu Mr. Shahbal said the allegations were unfounded.
On a local radio station, Mr Shahbal said the project was on track and construction had started.
“Nobody was instructed to pay to build the houses,” insisted Mr Shahbal, who has also expressed an interest in the governor’s seat on an ODM ticket.
Last year, Governor Hassan Joho endorsed the housing project and assured current tenants that they would be given priority after the houses were built.
As part of the project, more than 500 residents are becoming homeowners through mortgages and tenant purchases.
In March, tenants each received a check for Sh240,000 from the Mombasa County government to help them move out of their homes and pave the way for the apartments to be built.
Mr Shahbal said Mombasa’s outlook will change with this project, which he claimed will rejuvenate the port city and create jobs.
The first phase of the project will last 12 months, said June Mwajuma, chief officer of Lands and Physical Planning.
Around 500 units in Buxton Estate will be redesigned and converted into 1,860 modern units.
The new complex will have a social center, clinic, playgrounds, and water, electricity and environmental controls.
Charles Hinga, chief secretary for housing and urban development, and the head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, Andrew Wakahiu, inspected the site and said it was the largest in Kenya.
Officials said the project is one of many public-private partnerships aimed at improving residents’ living standards and boosting the region’s economy.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was due to break the first sod on May 1, but the plans were put on hold.
“The project will mark a turning point in our county as it offers our young people employment opportunities. When construction begins, 750 jobs will be created directly and 3,000 more indirectly, ”he said.
Basketball courts, wedding halls, a kindergarten, a medical center, shops and other social facilities are also being built in the area.
KCB Bank, Gulf Bank, Absa Bank and Housing Finance are among the donors who have expressed interest in the housing project.
The master plan shows that the complex will include 600 three-bedroom, 700 two-bedroom and 600 one-bedroom houses.
The houses will be developed on 12 acres where an avenue will also be laid to connect the complex to Ronald Ngala Road and Narok Road.
Ten apartments will be built in each block and a green inner courtyard will be set up between all four blocks to “strengthen the sense of community”.
A one bedroom house will sell for Sh1.8 million, a two bedroom for Sh3 million and a three bedroom for Sh4.2 million.
At least 1,900 families will own the homes through mortgage and hire purchase agreements.