Construction works on the affordable housing project in Buxton, Mombasa have been halted. A Senate committee suspended works until evicted tenants’ grievances are resolved.
The Sh 6billion project involves construction of 1,860 new apartments. The county government had entered into a partnership with businessman Suleiman Shahbal who won the tender to build the housing units. Mr Shahbal on his part said over 500 residents of Butxton estate will become home owners through mortgage and tenant purchase arrangements.
Blow to tender
The county government has already began issuing a relocation allowance of Sh240,000 to the affected tenants. In addition, the developer has paid a Sh60,000 deposit for each family as commitment for buying the units. Under the scheme, a one bedroom house will be sold for Sh1.8 million, while a two bedroom unit will go for Sh3 million. Individuals seeking a four bedroom unit will be required to raise Sh4.2 million. There will also be bedsitters going for less than a million shillings. Phase one of the project will be completed in 12 months.
This is a big blow to Mombasa tycoon Suleiman Shahbal, who won the tender to build the houses. Meanwhile, the Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Committee has summoned Governor Hassan Joho to the Senate within 14 days to explain the controversies arising from the project or face arrest and prosecution.
The committee said the agreement between the county government and the developer is shrouded in secrecy. The committee issued its verdict at the Mombasa County Assembly after listening to former tenants express their complaints.
“We resolve to stop construction until issues raised by the tenants are heard and determined. We hold that the governor has absented himself from this sitting without proper engagement and satisfactory reason to this committee,” said the chairman of the committee, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.