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Tycoon awarded Sh859m for demolished Spring Valley home

Reclusive tycoon Mike Maina Kamau has secured an order compelling the State to pay him Sh859 million as compensation for his mansion, which was demolished in Nairobi’s Spring Valley to pave the way for a road.

Justice John Mativo has directed the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure as well as the Attorney-General to ensure the billionaire, who owns Marble Arch Hotel in Nairobi, is paid the millions.

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. 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.

Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary for Infrastructure, said 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 was aggrieved by the earlier judgment and had sought to reverse the compensation.

According to him, the appeal had high chances of success, and, as such, the compensation should be frozen unit the State exhausts its right of appeal. However, Justice Mativo said that an appeal does not imply suspension of court judgements, unless a judge has imposed orders freezing the orders.

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“It is a known principle of law that an appeal of a judgement by the unsuccessful litigant does not prevent the successful party executing the judgement immediately,” said Justice Mativo.

“Ideally, the unsuccessful party should apply for a stay of execution after judgement is delivered from the court issuing the decree and if unsuccessful from the court to which the appeal is preferred”.

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.

However, the State, in its counter-argument, said Mr Maina had acquired the land unlawfully through fraud, misrepresentation and mistake.

It said the land was actually part of a road and that the government had acquired it in the early 1970s for the purpose of building the link road to cover a distance of 4.4 kilometres.

The link road was to traverse through Grevilla Groove, Kyuna Road, Loresho Ridge, Spring Valley Road, Kitisuru Road and Ngecha Road.