Opposite Taifa Park in Kisumu stands one of the latest building that houses Skylark furniture shop.
To this ‘magnificent’ development, there is a sad story of a family that was deprived of their possession by the Odinga family.
The land was previously owned by the late Isaac Onyuro and his family. On the spot where the new building is built, stood an old guest house called Rozy.
Onyuro was coerced into ‘selling’ it to Rosemary Odinga, Raila Odinga’s daughter by Ida declaring that Rozy fell in love with the building after seeing her name on it. Onyuro’s wife died during the negotiation and he was given Ksh100,000 and told to go and finish with the funeral then come and collect the balance of Ksh6.9 million, so as ”not to waste the money in the funeral”.
He was asked to however sign transfer forms so that “Orengo could help transfer the land, so that it will be done by the time he collects the money”.
When Onyuro finished everything to do with the funeral he went back to look for Rosemary, Ida and Raila to pick his cash. To his surprise, he no longer had access into Nairobi, Kisumu and Bondo residences.
“The bodyguards were instructed not to allow him anywhere near the family members. When he went back to his building he found that youths had been sent into the building at 5 am to violently flash out guests and prostitutes who were occupying the rooms of the guesthouse that was run by one of his tenants. The guesthouse property had been thrown into the road and the building sealed as a construction site and the building brought down within hours by Skylark,” said our source who is privy to the details of the matter.
Onyuro’s soon died before getting paid.
Skylark is owned by Vinod Patel, a ‘mysterious’ businessman whose wealth always balloons whenever Raila is in power, or close to it.
Skylark is the company that built the Ksh1 billion residence for Raila up the hill. The company has also done all the construction work and supplied all the material for all the building works at Opoda Farm.
It has ballooned from a small construction company and hardware into one of the richest construction and hardware supplying companies in this region. It all started during the Narc Government when Raila was at the Ministry of Roads and Public Works and expanded during the Grand Coalition coalition government.
When the construction was over, Skylark set up a modern furniture shop within the building. Kiosks along Obote Road were consequently demolished.
Onyuro is not the only victim of land grabbing by the Raila family, as they term themselves as the Royal family.
Several buildings surrounding the grabbed piece of land have also been grabbed. Most of these buildings belonged to Asians whose families got leases in the colonial period but most of who had moved to England and Canada and left the buildings in the hands of relatives and friends. Leases on these parcels, started expiring in 2001. A number of them were allegedly transferred to the Kingdom during Orengo’s tenure at the Ministry of Land.
“Take note of the the name “Royal City” and the acquisition of all this land in lower Kisumu CBD area. Link this with the three Royal City Hotels in that area, in Milimani and on the hills. Link this also with the proposed modern Royal City to be built on the huge molasses land. Then link the same to Royal City and Industrial Park to be built on Miwani Sugar Company Land that is going to be acquired under the pretext of privatisation. Link this also to the irregular acquisition of Hippo Point and other prime parcels of land in Kisumu,” says our source who sought anonymity.
Also, the land on which United Millers factory on Obote road stands is to date in the name of Jaramogi.
One Paul Abuor has been actively cutting down trees at the Taifa Park ostensibly on behalf of Sunil Shah, owner of United Millers, the richest industrialist in western Kenya. Our source intimates that the Raila family has tried unsuccessfully to grab the Taifa Park.
Kahawa Tungu learns that Vinod has written to the County severally wanting to be given a lease to “maintain” Taifa park. His excuse is that he wants a clean park in front of his shop.
As a reward from the ‘Royal Family’, Vinod was recently appointed the chairman of the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO).
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