The Real estate sector is a million dollar industry controlled by powerful individuals in the country. In this article we bring you the story of one individual who had a firm grip in Kenya’s real estate sector and was able to create wealth running into billions of shillings over the years.
Here is the story of Harban Singh Amrit-a man whose death in 2016 does not dim his businessman shrewdness.
Harban Singh Amrit
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Harban Singh Amrit was a Kenyan Indian businessman who had vast interests in real estate, aviation, horticulture and the tourism sector. The father of three was at one time the chair of the Sikh Supreme Council.
According to a report published by the Star newspaper, Amrit ranked among the wealthiest individuals in Kenya but his wealth was associated with dirty deals during the reign of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi.
Amrit was a close confidante of former President Moi and was tasked in constructing all the Moi Girls High Schools across the country. He also constructed Kabarak University in Baringo county, Sunshine School and Moi Educational Center in Nairobi.
He was the main government contractor and all the national cereals and produce board (NCPB) silos were under his hands. According to businessmen who worked with him, they revealed to the Star that he exaggerated the costs for every project he did under the Moi’s government and made sure he made astronomical profits.
It was during this time that he was able to create vast wealth for himself that runs into billions of shillings.
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Also Read: John Harun Mwau: The Richest Man In Ukambani Whose Life Is Shrouded In Mystery
Properties Owned by Amrit
The shrewd businessman owned the land and buildings on which the three Safaricom houses along Waiyaki way now stand. Another building under his name is Skypark Plaza, situated near Pizza Garden restaurant, which is occupied by the National Police Service Commission. In Westlands, he owned three buildings alongside businessman Manek Shah and the late Prof. George Saitoti. The buildings are located along the leafy suburbs of Woodvale, Westlands. He owned Rehema apartment situated along Rhapta road and was tasked by the government to construct Rehema house for the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya.
Further along Rhapta road, he owned Chelsea Park apartments that go for Ksh 28 million for a three bedroomed apartment or Ksh 140,000 per month. Amrit together with the late Gachanja sold the land in which the Hindu temple located near Spring Valley police station is built. It is not revealed the amount of money they garnered from the sale of the land but it is estimated to run into billions of shillings. In Parklands he owns a prime piece of land situated just behind Simba Union Complex.
In Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), Amrit constructed View Park towers along Uhuru highway and next to Utalii house for a total cost of Ksh 300 million. He then sold the 20 floor building for Ksh 900 million to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). He owned a parking space between Utalii house and Kenindia Insurance Building which he sold to the Kenya Methodist University for millions. He owned a seven acre piece of land in Upper hill and Airport view villas along Raila odinga way (formerly Mbagathi way). He was listed in the controversial land grabbing allegations of the Langata road primary school playground field in which Weston hotel sits on today. Others in the list were Mandip Singh Amrit, Manjit Singh Amrit and Kamal Prakash Amrit.
Investments in the Other Sectors
Apart from property and land owning, the tycoon heavily invested in the tourism sector. He owns Eka hotel – a five star hotel situated along Mombasa road. He owns Oltukai Lodge in Amboseli national park, Castle hotel along Moi Avenue in Mombasa and also owns a hangar at Wilson airport. In the agribusiness sector, he owned the Aquila farm in Naivasha which sits on a 300 acre piece of land where he plants flowers. He started a shipping business in Kisumu which he gave it to his sons to run together with his friend Sharad Patel. The billionaire also owns several properties in New Delhi, India where one of his sons lives and takes care of his investments.
In March 2016, Harban Singh Amrit finally passed away after he collapsed in his house along Riverside drive after a stroke. He is believed to have died while aged between 75 to 80 years old.
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