The few Kenyans that make up the billionaire club are not known for flaunting their wealth in public and instead choose a low-key existence. Mike Maina is one such super-rich person who just came to public attention in 2019 after his firm, Mutthithi Investment Limited, acquired court orders to demolish residences in Kayole, where he claimed over 20 acres of land.
According to an article in the Standard titled “Eight reclusive Kenyan billionaires you might not know about,” the billionaire interacts through written messages carried on by messengers and never gives interviews to the media.
Mkenyaleo.co.ke, has compiled this reclusive billionaire’s story is as follows.
Regarding the Marble Arch Hotel
Mike Maina owns the famed Marble Arch Hotel, which is located in the heart of Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) along Lagos Road, just off the famous Tom Mboya street. The Nairobi Fire Station is only a short distance away from the hotel. Marble Arch, first opened in 1995, is a three-star hotel in the heart of London that offers economical lodging, meeting facilities, and a wide range of cuisines.
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Over 1.4 million people have visited the hotel since it opened, making 25,632 reservations, accommodating 158,024 people, and serving over 4.6 million different meals and cuisines. Apart from tourists, the hotel’s unusual architectural architecture, classic interior design, and exciting environment attract a considerable customer drawn from Kenya’s middle and working classes.
It features big, fully furnished rooms with modern conveniences to provide a quiet, comfortable, and restful stay, which is unusual for many metropolitan hotels. It also features strong security and enough of parking, so you won’t have to worry about anything throughout your visit. Depending on the package you choose, a night at the hotel will cost you anywhere from Ksh 5,200 to Ksh 10,500. For Ksh 180,000 per month, you can receive a completely furnished and serviced apartment. Among other things, the apartment has a satellite TV, a King-sized bed, a separate big room, cooking equipment, and a working desk.
Controversies surrounding Billionaire Mike Maina
Mr. Mike Maina is a man besieged by problems and court battles left, right, and center, notwithstanding his triumphs with the Marble Arch hotel. Here are some of the allegations, conflicts, and legal fights in which he is currently or has previously been involved:
His multi-million dollar mansion is being demolished.
The government was given permission to demolish Maina’s eight-bedroom home in Spring Valley, Nairobi, in 2010 by then-Minister of Roads and Infrastructure Franklin Bett.
The millionaire was anticipated to throw a fit, but instead chose to send his lawyer, John Mburu, to write a public statement before suing the state. The house was demolished to make space for the Waiyaki Way – Redhill connector road to be built. Mr. Mike Maina had constructed the structure.
However, the state, in its counter-argument said that the billionaire had acquired the land unlawfully through fraud, misrepresentation and mistake. It revealed that the land was part of a road that had been acquired by the government in the early 1970s in order to build the 4.4 kilometers link road. At the end of the court battle in April 2020, the billionaire won the case and was consequently awarded Ksh 859 million. The compensation was broken as Ksh 847,277,351 for the demolished property and Ksh 12,259,342 as the cost of the case.
Kayole Land and Demolitions
Mr. Maina has been in and out of court trying to repossess the Nyamavilla land in Kayole. It is alleged that in 1988 the billionaire was scammed Ksh 17.4 million at View Park Towers along Uhuru Highway, Nairobi. This is after Mr. Gabriel Njoroge Mbuthia, who posed as the son of Cabinet Minister JJ Kamotho, sold him plot No LR 23917 in Kayole which actually belonged to the City Council. Mr Maina, through his lawyers, told the court that he discovered that Mr. Mbuthia was not the owner of the plot a few months later. He had pocketed the money and escaped to Uganda. He won the case and Mr. Mbuthia was arrested and jailed for two and a half years. The billionaire then started another purchase process of the same land through his companies Gamex Shelter Hunters Limited and Muthithi Investments.
But just before the deal could be completed, the Nairobi City Council filed a suit at the High Court of Kenya against the Commissioner of Lands, Muthithi Investments and Gamex Shelter Hunters Limited arguing that the land belonged to the public. The case later took an unexpected about-turn and a consent order was registered on February 8th 2000 between all three parties which agreed that Muthithi Investment was the owner of the property. The consent order was followed by a court order on July 8th of the same year whereby Muthithi Investment was declared the legal owner of the land. With that, Mr. Maina through his company Muthithi Investment got an order to have the occupants removed by force and consequently stormed the 20-acre piece of land with bulldozers in 2019 bringing everything down and rendering the area residents homeless.
Marble Arch Hotel and Karura Forest Land saga
According to a parliamentary record, it is alleged that the Marble Arch hotel grabbed a public toilet space in order to build a parking bay next to the parking lot that was once owned by the Kenya Taxi Cabs Association. Mr. Maina was reportedly involved in the attempt to grab Karura Forest land, where he was to build a mall on behalf of the late President Daniel arap Moi as reported by Nation media. By then, he was the proprietor of Pelican Engineering Construction Company and was to acquire the 45.5 acres piece of land through his company Kitisuru Limited. The process was halted and everything stopped after Kenyan environmentalists led by Nobel Prize Winner the late Prof. Wangari Maathai staged protests against the demolition of the forest.