When Kuyo Ole Kijape walks into the Narok County Assembly, all the Members of the County Assembly (MCA) stand up. He is the de facto governor of county 033. The powerful ‘dad’ to Governor Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai.
Kijape, the MCA for Kimintet ward and Governor Tunai are more than family, they are friends who took upon themselves to register a company, the Oloololo Ranch Group Trust in the 1990s to ‘protect’ the Maasai community land interest. Ole Kijape is very rich, as we shall see in the article, and reportedly owns a chopper.
The land which they hived off the wider Maasai Mara National Reserve, was a water corridor for the community and the members of the minority Maasai sub-tribe the Siria, where they come from, were lied to that their interests are being protected. Ole Kijape and Ole Tunai were masqueraders who were intent at stealing the land from the community and oppressing them as it would later turn out. No tangible development has been done in places inhabited by the Siria such as Lolgorian ward, even up to today.
In 2013, something sinister happened after Ole Tunai came into power as Narok County Governor. Ole Kijape’s dream and plan had finally materialized.
From an unknown National Intelligence Service (NIS) operative, Ole Kijape had shaped Ole Tunai to what he was and he had set his eyes on a bigger seat, one that would enable him with his vast wealth, to control Narok and the important Mara Triangle that they had grabbed in 1991. That came to him (ole Kijape) on a silver platter when the new constitution ushered in the era of counties.
A brief history of the two states that Tunai while working in NIS was ‘poached’ and often trusted by Ole Kijape to read for him and interpret important documents. Ole Kijape never went to school. This is where their friendship and partnership blossomed and rose to billionaire levels.
Tunai becoming governor meant that Ole Kijape would control Narok’s resources especially tourism with an ‘iron fist’ so to speak.
Equity was the first to be dislodged as a payment receiver for the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and was hurriedly replaced by Kenya Airports Parking Services (KAPS) as a manager of the numerous gates and points of entry into the Mara.
The gates in Ewaso Ngiro, Nairobi, Takek road block, Ololaimutia, Sekenai and Rasiara would all be manned by KAPS which was by then largely controlled by the Tunai’s through their company Oloololo Ranch Group Trust.
When KAPS took over, to this say ‘no one knows how much is collected’ from the Maasai Mara, however, residents estimate the money to be in billions annually.
In order to better control their Mara Triangle, the two billionaires registered the Mara Conservancy tasked to collect revenue in the area previously owned by Kilgoris district. Mara Conservancy is led by Brian Heath as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Together these rogue men control over 26,000 hectares of land which consists of 7 highly lucrative camps which offer balloon rides and airstrips.
After taking over the Maasai Mara National Reserve revenue collection from Equity Bank through KAPS, the duo forced collection to be put into their private accounts. It has never been disclosed how much KAPS collects despite a 2015 petition by the residents who wanted the court to force newly elected Governor two years into office to declare the revenue amount.
Tourists pay $80 (Ksh8000) per night. Now, because we receive close to a million tourists from outside and some internally from the country. That makes it nearly 2 million, even as per figures for 2019 by the Ministry of Tourism. A huge chunk of these tourists visit the Mara.
Lady Lori Chopper scandal
The duo are said to have also invested in helicopter companies like Lady Lori as shareholders and many others as well as in stock markets.
The scandal at Lady Lori is that they send an invoice to Narok County disguised as travel services by revenue collection agents of Narok.
The bill per week from the choppers that the governor uses is estimated at a whooping Ksh12 million.
Moving the money
After money is stolen from the county coffers using ghosts projects and creative accounting of services offered to it. They are moved through proxy companies owned by Ole Kijape and Ole Tunai, namely: Soo Enterprises Limited, Wid Wid Enterprises Limited, Horizon and Beyond Limited, Maasaen Limited (to which Resian Victoria Sompisha, the lady exposed as a Ngirita of Narok is the Director), Eutontol Limited, Mara Agri Enterprises Limited, Mara Conservancy Limited.
The people that are used to move the money to kill any trail of misuse are: Caro Sompisha, Victoria Resian Sompisha, Nayioma Letiet, Leshan Tunai, Leshao Kimani and Ali Farah.
It is estimated that the Mara Triangle of the Maasai Mara under Mara Conservancy (a firm controlled by Gov Tunai) collects an average of Ksh800 million per annum from park fee. Let alone land rates from the hotels and lodges located within.
Also take for example if the charges are Ksh8000 per night and 1.5 million tourists visit the Mara, and spend two days. That translates into about Ksh24 billion which is not declared anywhere.
The billionaires of Narok has planned a BBI meeting in Narok at a cost of Ksh400 millin, but it is all meant to hoodwink the presidency and play the politicians that they are for it, yet they are impostors.
Tunai’s love for Deputy President William Ruto is high, it meant that Ruto was awarded former Vice President Joseph Murumbi’s land.
Ghosts from the past Tunai – KAPS dealings
In 2015, residents of Narok County lodged a petition at the court, among the issues were accusations of embezzlement of public funds and resources amounting to billions of shillings by Governor Tunai since he took over office.
First, the residents argued that between March and December 2013, the portion of revenue expected by the county from the Mara Conservancy was Sh144.5 million, but the actual remittance as per the report of the Controller of Budgets was indicated as Sh18 million. They accused the conservancy of retaining more than Sh126 million.
“You as the governor deliberately ensured that the county government has no mechanisms of ascertaining how much Mara Conservancy and Kaps collect and remit to the county revenue account,” said the residents.
Secondly, the overall issue that they wanted interrogated are the Sh7.3 billion county budget for the 2013/2014 financial year, payment of county fees, alleged non-payment of park fees by businesses associated with the governor, alleged non-remittance of revenue by the Mara Conservancy, activities of the Kenya Airport Parking Services (Kaps), procurement of goods and services in the county, the Maasai Mara Community Development Fund and the Mara Conservancy.
In Kenya, politicians use their offices to protect themselves from prosecution over ill-gotten wealth. Tunai came into power to help Ole KIjape secure a through-pass in most things and to stifle questions over his wealth. Now that two terms are over, Ole Tunai plans to run as Kilgoris Member of National Assembly, this will ensure that they are still in power where it matters; near that Mara Triangle.
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