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Monday, 3 November 2014

Folly of Laikipia’s new breed of investors

By Njenga Kahiro
Land is without doubt, one of the most emotive issues in Kenya. The allure of owning a piece of earth seems to drive everybody to abandon the most sensible expectations.
The Nairobi folks with some money seem to have caught more than their fair share of this infection and they are purchasing land in plains of Laikipia like there is a new precious mineral hidden under the surface.
Most of the rural folks do not mind this frenzy as the land that they initially thought was useless is attracting good money. This has elicited interesting debate in the villages. Lately streams of fancy cars have been getting stuck in the villages black cotton mud holes and majority of the drivers have been ladies.
Most residents are of the opinion that it is a good thing for the village to see their daughters of the soil, purchasing land and driving big cars as it inspires the youths in the village to work hard in order to achieve material wealth.
However, some of the residents are of a different opinion. Losusu and Mama Mboikai are among those who are not interested in this new breed of investors.
“We have seen this frenzy before bushman and it did not end well. Every person no matter how foolish always thinks there must be a greater fool than themselves,” said Losusu.
“This is the same with these young people. They must think that they will buy a land and find a bigger fool to sell at a higher price. It will work for some transactions and many will be left with land they will find it difficult to sell to anyone,” added Losusu.
When given an example of the astronomical rise of land prices along Thika Road after the construction of Thika Superhighway and how this could also happen in the village, Losusu noted that people who have seen books and claim to be Christians should not do such a thing as it borders on immorality.
“The highway was constructed with tax payer’s money. Everyone contributed so why would the few who bordered the road benefit from a facility paid for by everyone,” posed Losusu.
It was then pointed out that market forces are at play but Losusu and Mama Mboikai quickly countered that markets are not perfect. It is clear that an investor stuck in the mud hole will soon get the same lecture.
Source- People Daily Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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