Moses Wetangula, the Speaker of the National Assembly, has spent over three decades in Kenyan politics. Then a young lawyer, he was first nominated to Parliament by KANU in 1992 and has since held roles including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Trade, and led the Ford-Kenya party.
Wetangula has invested heavily in the real estate sector, like many other wealthy Kenyans and politicians. In Syokimau, Machakos County, he owns more than a dozen multi-storey apartment blocks each featuring several modern, stylish apartments.
His primary development in Syokimau, 360° Apartments, has however been mired in controversy since its establishment. During his time as Machakos Governor, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua claimed that the apartments associated with the speaker were built on riparian land.
360° Apartments features spacious, high-end 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units with separate bathrooms, large kitchen, dining and living spaces as well as stylish fittings. The area features several amenities including ample parking spaces and round-the-clock security.
Residents have however faced a perennial flooding problem whenever there is heavy downpour. Those living on the ground floors are usually the most affected.
Syokimau residents in 2012 moved to court seeking to have further construction of the apartments halted arguing the apartments were being erected on riparian land. The Machakos High Court in 2015 ruled in their favour.
Justice L.N Mutende ordered that the construction of more units, Blocks 15 and 18 within the 360° Apartments estate be halted. The developer was also directed to modify a perimeter wall adjacent to the neighbouring residents to enable for the free flow of storm-water for effective drainage.
Residents during heavy downpours have found themselves forced to pump water out of their houses for hours. Items including electronics, furniture and foodstuffs have previously been destroyed due to flooding.
Vehicles have also been submerged at the large estate’s parking lot, including in 2021.