Economy

Tycoon fails in bid to seize AG, PS assets over demolished Spring Valley home

tycoon

Mr Maina’s Marble Arch Hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Reclusive tycoon Mike Maina Kamau has lost a bid to attach the properties of the Attorney General and Infrastructure PS Paul Maringa for disobeying a court order over a Sh859 million compensation for his mansion, which was demolished in Nairobi’s Spring Valley.

Instead, Justice John Mativo directed Prof Maringa, the Principal Secretary for Infrastructure, to pay the amount within three months, failure to which he would be sent to civil jail for six months. The judge ruled that the PS was in contempt of court for failing to pay the amount as directed in April.

The tycoon wanted to be allowed to attach properties belonging to the AG Kihara Kariuki and Prof Maringa for a value declared by the court. While declining the application for sequestration or attachment of the properties, the judge said the case does not involve an insolvent judgement debtor or creditor.

“The foregoing paragraphs explain with sufficient detail the nature, scope, effect and legal basis for the order of sequestration. I am unable to fit the circumstances of this case within the ambit of the order of sequestration eloquently explained above. The plea for an order of sequestration is declined,” the court said.

Mr Maina told the court that the amount was budgeted for and part of it remitted to the Attorney General for onward payment but the AG had neglected to pay him, without any cause.

The judge said the tycoon had demonstrated that the PS and the Attorney General “wilfully failed, refused and or neglected to obey the court order”.

In April, the tycoon, who also owns Marble Arc, secured an order compelling the State to pay him Sh859 million for demolishing his mansion.

The compensation is broken down as Sh847,277,351 for the demolished property and Sh12,259,342 as the cost of the case.

Bulldozers tore down Mr Kamau’s eight-bedroom mansion to make way for a bypass, prompting the tycoon to seek compensation.

Mr Franklin Bett was the minister for Roads when Mr Kamau’s property was brought down.

Mr Maina had been awarded Sh711 million as compensation in December 2017 but recently sought court action for speedy payment, including of interest for the delayed settlement.

The State had opposed Mr Maina’s application on the grounds that there was a pending appeal against the Sh711 million payout, arguing that taxpayers would be prejudiced if the payment was made before the appeal was determined.

The PS defended the demolition saying Mr Maina’s property sat on land that was part of a road reserve.

As a result, the house had to be demolished to pave way for the construction of the Waiyaki Way-Redhill link road. Prof Maringa said that the State has appealed against the judgment.

Mr Maina had built his palatial home in 2007 and at the time of demolition, he had not moved in yet but construction work was nearing completion. He successfully defended the acquisition of the land, claiming before court to have purchased it at Sh80 million.

In his evidence, Mr Maina said he had spent Sh299 million to build the mansion.

Editor's Note: We have revised the story to correct erroneous statement that Mike Maina Kamau lost a court bid to seize and auction State property. The correct position is that he was seeking to seize the assets of the Attorney General and Infrastructure PS.