Senate grills Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir over Sh6 billion Buxton housing project

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir. 

A Senate committee has 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.

The Senate committee on Infrastructure, Transportation and Housing grilled the governor following a petition to the House by former tenants.

Former tenants complained that they were left out of the housing deal because they cannot afford the cost of the new modern units.

It emerged that the county government was only interested in housing its employees in the 200 houses or 10 per cent of the total units allocated to it by the developer.

Speaking at Serena beach hotel on Friday, March 24, the committee chaired by Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang’wa gave the governor, the developer Suleiman Shahbal and the petitioners 21 days to consult and draft the way forward.

Nassir said he would look into the issues raised by the petitioners and find a fitting solution.

He however noted that most of the petitioners who are known to him are not among the 522 legally registered tenants of the old Buxton estate that was owned by the county government.

The governor said he supported the Buxton tenants including the cost of legal services when he served as Mvita MP but they lost the case in court.

But the senators said the petitioners have expressed concern that they could not afford the new units and hence they have been left out of the housing deal.

The people of Buxton came to us for a review of the agreement between the county government and the developer. Most people cannot afford the houses because they have no access to mortgage scheme,” said Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.

Sifuna urged the county government and the developer to consider a long term tenant purchase agreement to ensure the petitioners who are poor also benefit. 

He noted that the county government appeared to have secured houses for its 176 employees who used to live at Buxton estate.

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said the petitioners were trying to catch up with a matter that has already been determined.

“It is unfortunate that the petitioners are trying to catch up with a bus that has already left the station,” he noted.

Buxton Point which is associated with businessman and East African Community Legislative Assembly MP Shahbal removed the tenants from Buxton in 2021 and developed 2000 units that are nearly complete.

The tenants were each given a relocation allowance of Sh240,000 that was agreed between them and the county government and the developer.

The tenants were given the option to book a house of their choice at the site and were offered an additional Sh60,000 for deposit in case they decide to buy a unit.