Mohamed Bashir had recently won two tender deals worth Sh2.53 billion in total, it has now emerged.
Bashir, an American-Somali tycoon, went missing on May 13 in Kilimani, Nairobi. He was, nine days later (May 22), found murdered, and his body traced to Kerugoya Level Five Hospital morgue in Kirinyaga County.
An autopsy conducted on the 38-year-old businessman’s body indicated he died by strangulation.
The Standard now understands Bashir had just won two multi-million-shilling tender deals before he went missing in unclear circumstances on May 13. Police are, however, yet to link the lucrative deals to his disappearance.
The operations manager at Bashir’s Infinity Development Limited, a design and construction company, told The Standard on Tuesday, May 25 that the firm in November 2020 won a Sh729 million cheap housing construction tender in Nairobi.
The deal was awarded to the firm by the State Department for Housing and Urban Development under the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works.
“The duration of the contract [which you expressed interest in on September 22, 2020] will be 16 weeks from the date of commencement, which will be duly communicated,” the tender award notice dated November 26, 2020, and addressed to Infinity Development Limited, stated.
Infinity had already begun working on the construction of low-income houses in Mukuru slums, when the company’s proprietor went missing.
In yet another deal, which is more lucrative, Bashir had won a Sh1.8 billion tender to build prisons in Mogadishu, Somalia, Infinity’s operations manager, Leonard Makokha, said.
“That’s why he had links with Somalia leaders,” Makokha, told The Standard.
Makokha dismissed allegations that his late boss was engaging in money laundering and financing of terror activities.
According to the operations manager, Bashir’s links to Somalia was purely business-related.
“They (Somalia Government) had already paid him part of the Sh1.8 billion for the construction of prisons in the country,” said Makokha.
The DCI detectives are now seeking to trace the money movement in Bashir’s accounts. This, they say, would help them unravel a possible motive behind Bashir’s killing.
Makokha, who was among the last people to interact with Bashir before he went missing, said he did not exhibit signs of distress.
“He hadn’t told me of any threats on his life. At the same time, I don’t think the multi-million-shilling tender deals the company won could have directly led to his murder,” said Makokha.
The lawyer of Bashir’s family, Charles Madowo, told The Standard that Infinity Development Limited had, recently, been embroiled in a corporate war with another construction company. The dispute was escalated to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.
The matter was, however, settled out of the procurement complaints review agency, Madowo said.
The lawyer now says he will petition the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to allow the family hold a public inquest alongside the probe conducted by the agency.
Bashir was buried at the Lang’ata Muslim Cemetery on Monday, May 24.
Infinity Development Limited, formerly known as Horn Construction Company, was founded in the year 2000. Bashir later acquired it from its original owners.
He then legally changed its name to Infinity Development, whose successful projects include the construction of the Sh600 million Uhuru Business Park in Kisumu that he and President Kenyatta inspected in person on October 22, 2020 ahead of its opening.
“As a company we have extensive knowledge and experiences in a variety of sectors such as, mixed-use, healthcare, education, residential, commercial, and retail-industrial,” the company, which is headquartered at the Mirage Towers on Waiyaki Way in Westlands, Nairobi, says on its website.