Governor Oparanya caught pants down

Governor Oparanya caught pants down

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Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya used county money to construct governor’s official residence on his private land Number Kakamega/Soy/1493.

The land in question was bought from Julius Kanja Mwangi. Wicar Investments Limited, a firm owned by Oparanya and his wife Salome Solomon Mchome, purchased the land from Mwangi.

The land in question is situated within Likuyani in Kakamega county.

The purchase price was Sh12 million. The governor purchased an acre at Sh700, 000. A sale agreement seen by Weekly Citizen investigative team shows that Wicar Ltd was supposed to pay for the improvement on the land which included the house, stores, timber, borehole, fence, chicken house among others.

In the deal, Sh12 million being a 10pc of the purchase price was to be paid by Wicar directly to Mwangi before the signing of the agreement.

Further, the balance of the purchase price Sh11.3 million was to be paid via Mwangi lawyer’s account. The lawyer was to hold as a shareholder.

The lawyers for Mwangi were to issue a professional undertaking to Oparanya lawyers that they would not release the balance to Mwangi until they received the title and transfer it duly registered in Wicar Limited.

Oparanya law firm in the land deal is Nyachae and Ashitiva Advocates of Mercantile House, 1st Floor, Koinange Street in the capital, Nairobi. The land measurement is estimated at 7.20 hectares.

In the sale agreement, the property was sold free from any charges, mortgages and other security interests.

The sale agreement was signed by Julius Kanja Mwangi ID Number 1932282 of P O Box 113 Soy as the vendor. Carolyne Solomon Mchome, of ID 22093013 of P O Box 20254- 00400 Nairobi, is indicated as the purchaser on behalf of Wicar Limited. Wicar refers to Wycliffe, Carolyne. The vendor was not to be liable to repair, renovate, develop, alter or improve the same.

According to the agreement, the purchaser shall deposit with her advocates the balance of purchase price in the sum of Sh11,340,000. The money was to be deposited in account name, Nyachae and Ashitiva Advocates, Credit Bank Ltd, Koinange Street Branch, and account No 011010008.

The law firm is associated with Charles Nyachae, elder son of former cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae. Credit Bank is operated by the elder Nyachae family.

The law firm was to hold the same on a shareholders basis pending the successful registration of the transfer in favour received from the vendor’s advocates.

Julius Kanja Mwangi bank is Family Bank Limited, Eldoret, and Account No 085000003458.

Mwangi’s lawyers in the deal initially were Ngigi Mbugua and company advocates. They are based at Komora Centre, 6th floor, Market lane, Nairobi.

As the deal of payments were going on, Oparanya is said to have decided to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement and paid Sh9,436,000 instead of the agreed amount of Sh11,340,000 million after paying the first installment of Sh1,200,000.

The governor’s argument was that the property was smaller in size than what had been declared on the title document upon which he had agreed to and have the property measured, and settle any difference as per the agreed purchase price of Sh700,000 per acre.

Weekly Citizen has since established that Mwangi upon receiving Sh9.4 million decided to transfer the land in good faith and delivered vacant possession despite what are stated pending obligations.

For now, Oparanya has refused to clear the total sum of Sh2,704,000 being the unpaid balance of the purchase price of Sh1,904,000 together with Sh800,000 agreed upon as compensation for improvements.

Weekly Citizen has information that despite requests of a meeting by Mwangi, nothing has happened and the governor has since refused to pay.

On July 29 2019, Mwangi wrote a demand letter to Wicar Investments Ltd through Ochich TLO and Associates based on Post Bank Banda Street Nairobi.

The law firm demanded payments of the balance or explore legal remedies. Surprisingly, Oparanya did not respond.

As Oparanya takes the vendor in circles, he has been developing the land using county money and is already complete.

Since the construction started, the county has budgeted Sh50 million per finance year to develop the private property.

It is imperative to note that in one of his reports, the Auditor General raised queries about the ownership of the land on which the Sh66.6 million residence of Kakamega governor was built in Likuyani subcounty.

In his report for the year ending June 30 2017, Edward Ouko said it was impossible to tell who owns the land since no title deed was presented to show that the project was subjected to the necessary public participation.

According to documents given to the auditors, the contract was indicated as Tender Number (GKK/16/7002 – Governor residential project in Lugari.

But in the contrary, information on the website indicates that the residence is in Likuyani and the tender under CGK/OG/2D15/2016001. Surprisingly, engineer’s estimates for the project cost are scarce.

Weekly Citizen has information the residence has already been allocated a total of Sh200 milllion in previous budgets.

To complicate matters is the fact that another Sh10 million was allocated for refurbishment of four houses belonging to government officials in Mudiri estate near the High Court.

To show the residence was constructed on private land, the county ministry of transport, infrastructure, public works and energy in April 2016 tender was on proposal as governor’s residence at Likuyani- Kakamega County under CGK/ OG/2015/16/0010.

The tender document states that the contractor on site shall submit to the project manager monthly application for payment giving sufficient details of the work done, materials on site and the amount which the contractor considers himself to be entitled to.

The project manager shall check the monthly application and certify the amount to be paid to the contractor within 14 days. The value of the work executed and payable shall be determined by project manager.

Payments are to be adjusted for deductions and retention. Further, if the amount certified is increased in a later certificate or as a result of an award by an arbitrator, the contractor shall be paid interest upon the delayed payment.

The payment certificates, compensation events, variations, bills of quantities and extension or acceleration of the completion date were factored in the tender to speed the project and loot millions of shillings.

Apart from the Likuyani projects, Oparanya through his aide, a one Rodger Martins initiated Oparanyacare that was allocated millions of shillings to offer free health facilities to county residents but nothing is seen on ground.

The Likuyani land deal sale agreement drawn by Nyachae and Ashitiva Advocates is dated 14 2014 whose ref no. is 1493/14/(15). The county tender for governor residence Likuyani is for 2015-2016 after acquiring the said land.