Developer wanted to stop Kenya-UK army deal for refusing to rent

A private developer wanted the British Government to pay them millions of shillings for a collapsed deal to house UK soldiers before Kenya could sign a military agreement.

According to a petition by Laikipia County, the British induced Maiyan Holdings to set up 34 units at the Swara Ranch Estate and later reneged on the deal to host British soldiers.

According to Laikipia County, the houses were put up for an estimated cost of Kes400 million on encouragement by the British but the Defense Infrastructure Organization (DIO) reneged on the agreement, which saw the devolved unit accuse them of economic sabotage that would warrant Kenya to decline signing the military training deal with the UK.

Located about 20km north of Nanyuki town, Maiyan set up the high-end villas that were being sold for between Kes29.9 million and Kes35 million for a single unit. CEO Omar Ikram said the firm was also planning to set up apartments designed as loft, studio and two-bedroom units for between Kes2.4 million and Kes6 million.

“That full compensation for the illegalities committed by the Batuk and by extension the DIO be provided for before the renewal of the agreement under deliberation,” the petition by Laikipia County read.

Parliament ignored the appeal and the committee on Defense Intelligence and Foreign Relations has endorsed plans to ratify UK military pact on condition the British government includes murder as part of crimes that will automatically be tried in Kenya.

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The British had listed only seven crimes that automatically get tried in Kenya including sexual offences, torture, inhumane treatment, transnational organized crime, slavery, offences against security, and robbery but had left out murder.

Renewal of Kenya-UK military pact has been dogged by the decade-long murder case of Agnes Wanjiru, who was stabbed and dumped in a septic tank by a British soldier in 2012.

The family of the 21 year old mother of a four year-old-child at the time of her death are yet to get justice.

Mr James Heappey Minister for Armed forces told the Kenyan parliament there was positive cooperation on this case, but with an active criminal case there was limited disclosures on its status. 

While Kenya has agreed to ratify the deal with the minimal amendments, it is worth noting that in the deal convicted British soldiers will get death sentences or corporal punishment commuted to a prison sentence or a fine.

In the deal Kenya is also expected to be sympathetic to request by the UK to have their convicted soldiers serve the sentence back in their home country. 

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