Ex-soldier who claimed to build a Ksh 200 billion town in Kakamega on the spot for failing to pay contactors –
In 2000, six years after joining the Kenya Air Force, Julius Mwale had serious disputes with senior government officials that his life was in danger.
He had worked with Kenya Airforce after joining the Armed Forces Technical College for a telecommunications engineering degree.
Army authorities would later dismiss the reports, claiming Mwale was fired for being absent without permission (AWOL).
âIt was during this training that he was absent without leave (AWOL) on May 27, 1999 at 8:00 am. He has therefore never been qualified or graduated as a radar technician or as an aeronautical engineer as he has previously stated â, reiterated the spokesperson for the KDF, Colonel David Obonyo.
It is reported that Mwale enrolled in a Masters in Electrical Engineering in 2003 as “Special Admission to Columbia University”. It is not yet clear how he could enroll in a master’s degree with a diploma certificate.
Silently, Mwale went to seek asylum in the United States for nine years, after which he returned in 2009 as president and chief strategy officer at SBA Technologies Inc, a multi-million dollar company.
In 2010, Julius Mwale announced that his company, SBA Technologies, planned to list 10 percent of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ.
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Unknown to many, before coming to Kenya, Mwale and his company SBA Technologies were sued in the United States for failing to honor the “unconditional warranty agreement” totaling $ 159,000 (approx. 16 million Ksh).
When he landed in Kenya, his investments were riddled with mysteries and alleged lawlessness.
For example, Mwale, through his company, started the Ksh 200 billion Mwale Medical and Technology City project in Butere, Kakamega County.
The feasibility study alone would have cost 3.9 million dollars (400 million Ksh). The city has reportedly planned a 5,000-bed referral medical hospital, a 144-megawatt residual energy facility, a 36-hole golf resort, and residences containing 1,500 rooms and 4,800 homes.
Besides the cost, the project raised many questions about its viability, its target customers and the initial source of funding.
In addition, the developer, Tumaz and Tumaz Enterprises, was at daggers drawn with Kakamega County which said in 2017 that it never authorized the investor to undertake the development and accused it of violating several laws.
According to county authorities, 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.
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The county wanted to demolish the project, but Mwale went to court and obtained orders banning the move.
Outside the county, many residents are said to have lost large tracts of land to Mwale, who made empty promises to build residential and rental homes for them.
Mwale embarked on a massive media campaign, mainly involving the mainstream media which carried articles describing the project as a âgame changerâ.
Seven years after the project started with a lot of hype from the media, the project turned cold and most of the stories made by the mainstream media were suppressed.
Additionally, Elisa De Panicis, an Italian superstar and ex-girlfriend of Portuguese football star Christiano Ronaldo, visited the medical facility and “enrolled” more than 300 family members in a national hospital insurance fund. (NHIF) fully sponsored.
In February 2020, Mwale announced that MMTC will be marketed by musician Akon and that the Akon Town Project will use the Mwale CMMS as a benchmark for success.
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.
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Kahawa Tungu understands that what once looked like a village paradise is now collapsing rapidly, with a number of contractors, suppliers, traders and vendors complaining 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.
Bloggers, content creators and models who were hired by Mwale through a South African agency were never paid a dime, with some choosing to remove the promotional material they had created.
The models were reportedly hired by Bianca Koyabe, a South African model.
This comes in addition to a 2018 incident where Mwale was accused of issuing bad checks to contractors, amounting to Ksh 22 million.
In April 2020, the The medical center would have converted the empty hall of the “Hamptons supermarket” into a Covid-19 “isolation and quarantine” center.
The empty “Hamptons supermarket”. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]Former Governor of Bungoma and current Speaker of the National Assembly Ken Lusaka, who initially championed the project, has become a staunch supporter of the project, to the point of traveling to the United States to seek financial support.
Former Kakamega senator Bony Khalwalwe was also a staunch supporter of Mwale, but now appears to have caught a cold on the whole project.
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