Hasmukh Patel, known to many residents of Mombasa simply as Hasu, is one of the Coastal city’s biggest industrialists and philanthropists. The sheer size of his empire as well as his commitment to philanthropy in sectors including health, environment and education have made him a towering figure in Mombasa, with great influence.
One of his companies, Mombasa Cement, is currently locked in a raging feud with the Mombasa county government, led by Governor Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir. Mombasa Cement carted away sculptures previously erected at city roundabouts, to be taken to nearby Kilifi county, in what was widely perceived as retaliation for the county’s move to oversee Patel’s donations at various public hospitals in the county.
The Governor has insisted that he is not opposed to the philanthropy, but argues that the lack of involvement of the county government has led to confusion. Patel has been responsible for clearing medical bills worth millions of shillings and helping equip county hospitals.
“There are no two ways about it; we will have order and discipline and I don’t see why anyone would be opposed to that,” Governor Nassir stated, adding “If you want to do that (donate), we thank you and even pray for your blessing, but we cannot have a case where 40 hospitals are writing to donors for x-ray machines and all these things, and the boss does not know.”
Hasu established Mombasa Cement in 2007. By 2018, it had grown to control 15.2% of the cement market with its Nyumba Brand, second only to Lafarge Holding’s Bamburi Cement brand. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Business Management from Kingston University in London, United Kingdom. He is also the director of Tororo cement in Uganda and Corrugated Sheets ltd in Kenya.
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One of his biggest philanthropic activities was his Ksh700 million contribution to the conversion of the Kibarani dumpsite in Mombasa to a park, ridding it of the foul stench that welcomed all visitors to the city.
“There is an important philanthropist. It will be unfair if I do not recognise him for the work that he has done for us,” noted former Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho at one function.
He also started the feeding programme Sahajanad Feeding Centre in 2008 to provide meals to thousands of poor individuals, and Sahajanand Special School that provides basic needs and education for over 5,000 pupils.
Other philanthropic activities Hasu has engaged in include donating over 50 lorries for garbage collection, providing clean water in slums using trucks, building sheds including at Likoni ferry and concrete fences around schools and police stations.
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