CS gone rogue?

Kenya: Ruto minister accused of ‘invading’ MP’s $855,000 home

By Victor Abuso

Posted on June 22, 2023 11:50

 © Kenya Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore (Facebook)
Kenya Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore (Facebook)

Florence Bore, Kenya’s labour cabinet secretary, confirmed on Thursday she vacated a home owned by MP Edward Muriu after he refunded her the deposit, as political commentators called her allegedly occupying his house by force an abuse of power.

The house belonging to MP Muriu (Gatanga), is located in Karen, an affluent suburb in the capital, Nairobi.

According to Bore, the lawmaker from the ruling UDA Party intended to sell the house at Ksh120m ($855,000), but the minister wanted to purchase it at Ksh90m, resulting in a disagreement between them.

However, Bore claimed she had entered into a purchase agreement with Muriu through his lawyers, and wired 10% of the agreed amount – Ksh90m – to the account of the lawyers representing him.

“We agreed that I occupy the house and settle the balance in 90 days,” she said in a statement, accusing Muriu of attempting to evict her children from the said house while she was out of the country, forcing her to seek protection from the police.

The MP however dismissed the claims by the minister as false, demanding proof of sale agreement and receipt of paid deposit.

“I have never signed a sale agreement with Minister Bore and if she has one, let her table it,” the MP said, threatening to petition for removal of the minister from public office for illegally occupying his property.

Political activist Miguna Miguna described Bore as an intruder who abused her powerful government position to take what does not belong to her.

“You are not above the law. Shame on you. Resign,” Miguna said in a tweet.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Amara Manco Villa, the alleged property manager, had given Bore a 24-hour notice to vacate the home after the homeowners met and demanded that she present legal documents granting her access to the home.

Bore had told reporters last week that she hadn’t been able to vacate as she was working until 9pm, but when she saw that Muriu had wired her the deposit back, she made arrangements to find another home.

“I searched for the house and within an hour, I had a new home, very new, so it was a blessing in disguise, “ she told reporters with a smile.

Who is Florence Bore?

Bore, a former high school teacher, is among the seven women appointed to President William Ruto’s cabinet last September.

Having resigned from her teaching job in 2012, she vied for MP in the 2013 elections, but was unsuccessful.

She later joined the Geothermal Development Company and was in charge of the Human Resource and Audit Committee between 2015-2017, before she tried her luck at politics again.

A political confidant of President Ruto, she won the women representative seat in Kericho County and served from 2017 to 2022.

Her opponents claim that it is because she vigorously campaigned for Ruto that she was nominated to serve in the cabinet.

I no longer trust her. What she did to the MP shows that she only serves her interests

During her vetting by MPs last October, Bore disclosed that she was worth Ksh200m ($1.4m). Her wealth include homes in Kericho and Nairobi, a tea farm, and parcels of land.

In her first days in office, she told Kenyans that her vision is to ensure that ordinary Kenyan “hustlers” grow their financial savings, and that retirees get their hard-saved benefits, both of which were part of Ruto’s campaign promises.

With the house controversy, Ameka Aivie, a young entrepreneur who voted for Ruto, tells The Africa Report that she has lost confidence in the minister’s promises.

“I no longer trust her. What she did to the MP shows that she only serves her interests,” she says.

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