Julius Mwale is a ‘little known’ Kenyan billionaire.
Those that know him, came to that due to his promise to transform Kakamega’s Butere area into a great place.
He had joined the great Kenyan kibaki-era horniness for very large gated communities christened cities. If you’ve heard about Konza TechnoCity, Eldoret Gold City, Tatu City or even the Kenyatta family-owned Northlands City, then you must have heard of Mwale Medical and Technology City.
If not, then this is the brief story.
Sometime in 2016, a YouTube video emerged boasting about a new city being built in Kakamega County.
The City boasted of being a first global green city with a 5,000 bed hospital, the world’s largest; 4,800 doctor’s residences; technology park; 36 hole-golf; water park; airport; and 144MW waste to energy power plant.
It was a dream that pulled in the who is who of Luhya land and Mwale was a celebrity to many Kenyans and some people abroad who came across the video.
But in the well-oiled Public Relations (PR) machinery, there were gaps.
The people that have up land to the project have waited for long without any tangible results. The villagers’ lives have not been transformed and it appears will never be.
Many were lied to and now are crying foul over the land they surrendered.
It is not easy to be taken around the ‘City’ as the PR controls what the world sees.
Mwale’s investment in the city was reported to be in billions, but another group of people were cursing his name.
Companies that were contracted to do works on the finished buildings, which includes a mall, and sme mansions, were never paid.
The contractors, suppliers, traders and vendors complain that Julius Mwale MTC owes them millions in unpaid bills.
Some claim to have been physically prevented from accessing the facility to demand payment, while others only receive promissory notes and have never been paid.
In order to escape scrutiny, Mwale hired the services of South African PR firm which disseminate whatever he gives to them.
The man is a crook and a genius at that, the PR machinery is so big that at one time, the man with a silver tongue brought home Elisa De Panicis.
Me De Panicis is an Italian superstar and ex-girlfriend of Portuguese football star Christiano Ronaldo. She visited the medical facility ansd alleged signed up more than 300 family members in a national hospital insurance fund. (NHIF) fully sponsored.
That was not all, American-Senegalese Rapper Akon who also had a dream of building a new city from scratch in his home country became a friend of Mwale.
A year and a half ago, Mwale announced that his city will be marketed by musician Akon and that the Akon Town Project will use the Mwale CMMS as a benchmark for success.
Despite huge media campaigns internationally, Akon’s project has not even broke ground as at the time of writing.
As for Mwale, the third group to cry foul are the models, and PR practitioners that her had hired.
Many were never paid.
Earlier on in the project, Kakamega City govt had issued with Mwale’s project.
The conman had found ways to circumvent laws.
In 2017, Kakamega County said it never authorized the investor to undertake the development and accused it of violating several laws.
As per the county, the investor violated the Kakamega County Physical Planning Law requiring the county to monitor developments under its jurisdiction, the Public Health Housing and Sanitation Law, the Law on the county government providing a framework for county planning and county land registration law.
They decided to demolish the already build houses, but Mwale rushed to court and was saved.
Tone it down
Mwale has been accused of issuing bouncing checks to those that press him to pay.
He has also been embroiled in tussle with various financiers over non-payment of loans.
With the bad publicity, Mwale City decided to tone down its PR and concentrate on new ones.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the snake oil salesman decided to ‘lease’ part of his ‘city’ ‘hospital’ for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Mwale converted the empty halls of his Hamptons Mall Supermarket known as MWAL-MART into a Covid-19 “isolation and quarantine” center.
Mumias Sugar Company (MSC)
With these clearly controversial dealings, some bordering on shady gold scammer wash wash type, it came as a shock that Julius Mwale would be able to beat other famous shady businessmen into buying Mumias Sugar Company, or what remained of it.
MSC had been looking for investors to resuscitate it.
Mwale topped the list of bidders by quoting Sh26.7 billion with three others quoting slightly higher than Sh10 billion with Jaswant Rai quoting Sh8.5 billion while Raval quoted Sh3.5 billion.
In the dying Mwale Medical and Technology City dream, the guy allegedly used Sh400 million on feasibility study.
In 2019, Mwale claimed to have used Ksh19 billion to build a shopping center, hospital, homes, golf course, power plant, 150 kilometers of road and an airport within the medical facility.
The man who owes contractors millions of shillings claims that he has Sh26.7 billion to revive the sugar miller should not be taken seriously. Seven 7 into his city dream, nothing tangible has happened.
There’s more than meets the eyes.
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