For residents of Kisumu, Hippo Point is one of the favourite beach spots, being the only public beach point remaining.
It even came as good news when the county government announced that it had set aside Ksh15 million towards development of Hippo Point.
The money would be used for fencing, building a viewing point, erecting a jetty and constructing a swimming pool.
What resident do not know is that there is a sinister move behind the fencing, as cartels are pushing their agenda to grab the tourist attraction centre.
This desk learns that the beach has long been grabbed by the Empire and sold to Grain Bulk at Ksh100 million.
We have also learnt that the previous government refused to ratify change of user and building plans for a multi million hotel to be built on that site by the Grant Bulk.
According to those in the know, this is what led to the removal of governor Jack Ranguma.
In July 2011, Councillors (now Members of County Assembly (MCAs)) were forced to approve the fraudulent grabbing of Hippo Point by the Empire, clothed as an investor called Nam Lolwe Investment Ltd.
“No Councillor was allowed to query the purpose and speed of this transfer. The resolution was used to effect a “75 years sub-lease” transfer on 1st August 2011 to the said Nam Lolwe Investment Ltd and the title below issued to the company. The company has since transferred the fraudulently acquired interest to Grain Bulk chap at a consideration of Ksh100 million,” reveals Joshua Odhiambo Nyamori, a resident in Kisumu.
If construction of the five-star hotel happens, it means that the beach, where most residents and tourists go to watch hippos and the sunset, will be inaccessible.
Kahawa Tungu learns that the fencing is not for safety of the public, but a way of preventing interruption when construction begins.
Empire is said to be a thorn in the flesh for the county government, forcing the orchestration of some decisions for their benefit.
“Just a few months ago the Governor was forced to literally eat his own vomit, by disowning a public notice demanding payment of rate arrears from defaulters, the highest being the Empire. The issue was not the rates. Rather, it was that the records of massive fraudulent acquisition of public land by the Empire had been exposed to the public for the first time,” intimates Nyamori.
The move, according to Nyamori, is meant to hoodwink the masses that improvements are being done for their benefit so that they allow the cordoning off of the beach to give way for construction of the proposed hotel. Later, when public interest will have diminished due to the “well intended” blockade, the public will be told a lie that the County Government is in strategic partnership with an investor for the benefit of the public.
Here are photos of residents enjoying their evening at the Hippo Point: