American tycoon Calvin Burgess has reportedly sold out his multi-billion-shilling farm in Kenya following what he termed as frustration by politicians.
Burgess allegedly sold the 3,700-acre Dominion Farms in Siaya County to the affluent Rai family, according to a gazette notice dated January 13th, 2020. Over the years, Burgess has accused ODM leader Raila Odinga and his allies of frustrating him despite investing billions and employing many Kenyans in the farms.
Sunday Nation reported that the vast farm was acquired by Lake Agro Company, which is owned by Jasweet Singh Rai, Tejveer Singh Rai, and Onkar Singh Rai. Burgess is expected to foot all the debts and liabilities that the company had acquired before the transfer is completed.
Burgess, who started Dominion Farms 17 years ago, had expressed plans to make it the largest farm in Africa. In 2017, he released a 22-page dossier accusing Odinga of frustrating his investments after he allegedly refused to bankroll his presidential campaigns in 2007.
But Odinga, through his ODM party and proxies, has constantly dismissed Burgess’ allegations as false. In 2017, former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and other ODM leaders came out to defend Odinga from the accusations.
“We know he is planning to relocate, but we want him to leave the farm machinery intact because they were bought in this country with money generated from the sweat of our people."
"Odinga is not a beggar as Burgess is trying to portray him. We are not going to allow him to continue tainting the image of our leaders,” Midiwo said.
Other reports suggest that Burgess’ trouble with authorities began after he refused to seek the county's approval for some operations. He was also accused of hiving off over 3,000 acres of community land and blocking roads that linked Namonye and Ratuoro Centres in Siaya, in addition to overhead chemical spraying of crops and barring area residents from accessing the river.