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Controversy rocks Sh200 billion project in Butere, Kakamega County

By Anne Wangare | Published Tue, July 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 17th 2017 at 22:30 GMT +3
Mwale Medical City project in Butere. The project, owned by a local investor Julius Mwale, is estimated to cost Sh200 billion. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard].

The county has threatened to demolish a multi-billion-shilling medical and technology project in Butere sub-county.

The Sh200 billion Mwale Medical and Technology City project is a gigantic complex with shops, residential area and a medical referral hospital.

But the county now says it never cleared the investor to undertake the development and accuses him of violating several laws.

According to county authorities, the investor has violated the Kakamega County Physical Planning Act requiring the county to control developments within its jurisdiction, Public Health Act on Housing and Sanitation, County Government Act providing a framework for county planning and the County Land Registration Act.

The county is also accusing the investor of ignoring a requirement for public participation before embarking on the project.

Certificate of urgency

But the investor, Tumaz and Tumaz Enterprises, has gone to court to obtain orders barring the county and Lands Executive Alfred Matianyi from placing advertisements or notices of demolition of the project which, according to the firm, has already spent Sh14 billion.

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The investor moved to the High Court under a certificate of urgency and obtained a gag order stopping the two from taking action on the project.

Judge RN Sitati directed Mr Matianyi and the county government not to publish demolition notices in any of the national newspapers.

The application shall be heard between the parties on July 26, 2017.

In a notice that appeared in a local daily on July 14, 2017, the county sought to bar the investor from carrying on with further developments of the project on 5,000 acres at Lunza village, citing violation of requisite approvals.

Phase I of the project encompasses a multi-billion-shilling shopping and residential complex.

Phase II of includes a 5,000-bed capacity referral hospital, over 70kms of roads and more than 300 solar street lights.

It also includes the first phase of 4,800 homes expected to host doctors and nurses.

The final phase, from September 2017 to December 2020, will include the 36-hole golf resort and residences, an airport, a second shopping mall and a convention centre.

The project has received the support of residents who expressed surprise at the county’s decision to stop it.

“The project has already employed close to 1,000 youths from this area,” said John Wandabwa. 

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