Tough Condition Chris Kirubi Gave Raila Before Investing in Kisumu

  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and billionaire Chris Kirubi when he visited the businessman at his home in Loresho, Nairobi in May 2018. Twitter
  • Billionaire Chris Kirubi, a Kenyan businessman with a footprint in many industries, among them media and real estate, is yet to create a mark in the lake-side city of Kisumu.

    Capital FM reported that during a May 2018 meeting between Kirubi and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga held at the former's Loresho home, the billionaire revealed that he was ready to invest in Nyanza, but only if one condition was fulfilled.

    He disclosed that he was fearful of branching out to the region because of recurrent violence during elections. 

    “I will be one of the investors in Kisumu… but investors don’t invest in cycles. We want long-term peace, that is what you (Raila) hold… you can help Kenya to grow,” he told the former prime minister at the time.

    Angry protestants engage police during post election violence in Kisumu region.
    Angry protestants engage police during a protest in Kisumu.

    He also lauded Raila's handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta, hoping that it would last to ensure peace and coexistence. 

    Kirubi explained that the alliance would open the region up to more investors after he considered that it was one of the best cities to invest in based on its physical location.

    “Kisumu has such a huge potential, more than anywhere else because it has a big lake. Let us invest in Kisumu and allow it to grow, but we have to give confidence to investors," he added.

    In his response, Odinga stated that he was hell-bent on making the peace pact last and that he would retire happy if his dream was actualised.

    “If every Kenyan can move around the country freely and be able to realize their potential, I will feel that I would have lived a useful life in the country,” he stated.

    Kirubi has stakes in numerous companies such as Centum Investments, which owns Two Rivers Mall, and Capital Media Group.

    An aerial view of Kisumu City. Chris Kirubi feared investing in the city because of the region's recurrent post-election violence.
    An aerial view of Kisumu City. Chris Kirubi feared to invest in the city because of the region's recurrent post-election violence.