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#UnmaskingLandGrabbers: Revealing The Private Developers, Cartels Behind Serial Eastleigh and Nairobi Land Grabbing



Farah Mohamed Barrow one of the Alfa Traders and Blue Sea Mall Proxy Directors.

Farah Mohamed Barrow one of the Alfa Traders and Blue Sea Mall Proxy Directors.

In our continuous series of a powerful land-grabbing cartel that has seen a land set aside for public utility taken over by private developers and construction of a Sh.400M going up in Eastleigh. The dubious deal has since seen hawkers who previously occupied the land suffer most impact having been thrown out.

The piece of land has been under tussles in the last ten years. The disputes in the epidemic land date back in 2008 when then City Council of Nairobi advertised for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the redevelopment of Eastleigh Market through a lease. The city council would provide the land, and then a private entity would construct a mall, shops, offices and apartments.

The model developed by the County government would see the winning company leased the land for 45 years and give twenty offices to the Council. After an austere vetting process, only two companies, Golden Lime International Limited and Blue Sea Shopping Mall, made it to the final bidding phase. Only one was awarded the contract after a unanimous decision by the County Council’s body, Golden Lime International Limited won.

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Alfa Traders joined in the tussles as an interested party. Interestingly, they claimed to be the owners of the same piece of land then one wonders why Alfa would take part in the PPP if the land were theirs in the first place.

Alfa Traders and Blue Sea Shopping Mall are the same entities with same owners. Kenya Insights can reveal the directors of the two companies are Farah Mohamed Barrow and Ali Sheikh Mohamud.

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Sheikh Khalifa, the ghost director and a billionaire, is the ultimate financier and owner of Alfa Traders, and he opts to take a laid back position in all these dealings. Khalifa uses Farah Mohamed Barrow and Ali Sheikh Mohamud as his trusted proxies, and they’re the one’s who appears as owners in nearly all his properties.

Sheikh Khalifa owns endless huge buildings across the city including  Diamond Park Estate along Likoni Road. Sources indicate that he co-owns the estate with his long term business partner and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. Interestingly, the state in 2014 had marked the land where the estate stands for demolition. The land was grabbed from the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the Ndung’u report, all the allocation of the 210 acre is illegal and should be reverted to the Government. It should be remembered this is the same piece of land that Senator Mike Sonko had put President Uhuru on loudspeaker before the press when demolishions were set. He came to the rescue of the grabbers. The case is still ongoing in the courts.

Sheikh Khalifa, owns Diamond Wholesalers, the biggest Mumias Sugar distributor in the country a business he’s been in for the longest time through Kidero’s reign to date. His empire extends to Creative Consolidated; Khalifa owns this company that was awarded the multi-billion garbage collection contract by the Nairobi County Government.

Abbas, who’s son to Khalifa and a wheeler-dealer within City Hall corridors, runs his father’s garbage collection company. You will not miss Abbas’ at George Wainaina, Kidero’s Chief of Staff office where they knit several deals, you can bet nature of most of the deals, dirty.

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Farah Barrow, Sheikh Khalif’s right hands man is the public face of Alfa Traders and will be seen everywhere though sources privy tell Kenya Insights he relies on handouts from his boss and isn’t as wealthy. Farah is accused of having grabbed piece of land from Eastleigh Primary School amongst other parcels that we will continue to expose here.

When Blue Sea Shopping Mall lost the PPP deal to Golden Lime International Limited, they appealed the decision citing irregularities. Tactically, Alfa Traders tried to register a different company with nearly similar names, Golden line International Limited but the registrar of businesses caught them in the act and denied them certification.

The lease that Alfa Traders held over the same piece of land had been denounced by County Government’s Legal office as null also National Land Commission has nullified the lease. It puzzles how despite all these discrepancies, and Court of Appeal was ruling for PPP overhaul, Blue Sea Shopping Mall which is represented by Ahmednasir Abdikadir & Co. Advocates have disregarded directives ordering otherwise to continue with the mall’s construction. More puzzling is how a public listed piece of land miraculously became a private entity.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [[email protected]]


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