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Appeals court puts brakes on Ksh850million payment to reclusive city tycoon

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The Court of Appeal has frozen the payment of hundreds of millions of shillings to a reclusive Nairobi tycoon, pending an appeal filed by the Attorney General.

The money was compensation by the government for the demolition of his house in the upmarket Spring Valley in July, 2010. The demolition of Mike Maina Kamauโ€™s house was meant to pave way for a road construction. The road was to pass through Grevilla Road, Kyuna, Loresho Ridge, Spring Valley, Kitusuru and Ngecha.

In April this year, High Courtโ€™s Justice John Mativo directed the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to pay Mr Kamau Ksh859 million. The compensation was broken down as Ksh847,277,351 for the demolished property and Ksh12,259,342 as the cost of the case.

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In court documents, Mr Maina said he started building the eight bedroom house in 2007. Construction was nearing completion when the government bulldozers moved in. While Mr Maina said he had legally acquired the land for Ksh80 million (and spent another Ksh299 million in building the mansion), the State argued that it was part of a parcel it had acquired in the early 1970s for the purpose of building the link road. The road was to cover a distance of 4.4 kilometres.

After Justice Mativoโ€™s ruling, the Attorney General subsequently appealed. The Court of Appeal has frozen the payment pending a ruling on this appeal. โ€œThough Mr Maina has said he is capable of repaying any money, it should be noted that the amount is substantial,โ€ Justices Daniel Musinga, Patrick Kiage and Sankale Ole Kantai said.

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Maina is the proprietor of Marble Ark Hotel in Nairobi.

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