In December of 1999, Calvin Burgess was requested to come to Kenya by the then Provincial Commissioner, Peter Raburu to consider investing in Nyanza Province and to meet with President Moi. On December 28th Dominion met with President Moi at his home and had a great breakfast with him assuring us of complete government cooperation and asking us to come to Kenya.
It took me a year to fully digest and prepare for the magnitude of this venture. A certain Bishop from Kisumu tried to influence us to come to the Ahero and take over a failed rice scheme there and in 2002 we surveyed the ground and began the studies for this area.
It soon became clear that the Bishop had conflicted interests and demanded a 51% interest in the project for no investment and he was asked to stand down from the project. This infuriated him and soon he tried to destroy us in any way possible including false charges and arrests for supposedly stealing my own vehicle which we had title to. I and our other directors were illegally detained for an entire day in the Kisumu Police station. Welcome to Kenya. We left.
In 2003, Dominion was petitioned again by Peter Raburu and the MD of Lake Basin Development Authority, George Oching to return to Nyanza to see another project, and we did so a few months later. On September Saturday 20th 2003 we were shown Yala Swamp. This was the poorest place on earth that I had ever seen with emancipated children, sickness and death being everywhere.
The next day, Sunday, my board returned and we drove as far into the bush, along the side of the swamp, as we could near some huts near where the rice mill now stands. We were the first white people the children had ever seen and we scarred them. Finally we got down on our knees and they would come forward to touch us and then look at their hands. This was followed by a few old and toothless men wearing frayed, tattered rags. With tears running down their cheeks they begged, “Please come, please help, please come, please help, we have nothing,” and truly that was the case.
This was truly a place of death. We were in the heart of Lou land, under the shadow of Mount Ramogi where the Lou people began. It was like being 10 centuries behind the rest of the country. These were a forgotten people by their leaders and the rest of the country. That night in the Imperial Hotel I could not sleep and I knew I needed to make a decision and could I actually make a difference.
Within a few months I returned and the process began. Public meeting were held over and over in Daraga, Kadenge, Siaya and Bondo. Some were held in shelters covered by USAID feed sacks stretched over poles tied together. We met the people where they were, we went to their chiefs, and their leaders.
There were so many sick people ravaged by Aids and Malaria. Two boys, each with broken arms, were injured from jumping off large rocks because they were being chased by the night stalkers. Broken bones could be seen through their skin so we took them for medical help. This place was full of witchdoctors and the demonic. Soon George took us to the county councils and the councils claimed they had control of the land, not LBDA. In the end, the counties were correct so our relationship began with them.
The county counselors begged us to come and hired lawyers to work with ours and an MOU was crafted and signed between the Counties and Dominion. This was then turned into a document which was executed by the Minister of Lands in June of 2004 for a term of 45 years. LBDA desired to remain in a small role with the farm to provide excess equipment to us, perform our environmental reports, design the irrigation systems and assure smooth operations for the company as it relates to the government. For this they were to receive an annual sum.
We began to ship farm equipment into the country and it got held at the ports with demands for bribes, which we did not and never will pay. Finally US President Bush intervened with President Kibaki in the oval office in Washington, DC and our equipment was released.
Almost every shipment to follow always had a corruption element attached with it which we fought and these delayed the project. In 2004 we shipped in three vehicles owned by the three directors of the company and they were held up at the port with a demand for $80,000.00 for their release. Since they were vehicles of the relocating directors there was not duty and no taxes due. Appeals were made to the President, the treasury, the minister of transportation, and the Attorney General ruled in our favor.
Directives were given for their release, yet the Commissioner of Customs refused to release our vehicles. Fourteen months passed with no release so we and the pastors and their wives of Kisumu began to pay. The commissioner of customs had an untimely death in his vehicle in a one car accident and the next day our vehicles were released. Simply put, Dominion will never be involved in corruption of any kind even if it costs us dearly.
Once the project was officially approved we began our work. The Bishop became incensed that he did not receive the 51% ownership that he demanded, so he became an enemy but in fairness to him he did come and apologizes a few years later and he is forgiven. The MD for LBDA went into retirement and a new person was appointed and he decided LBDA would not leave the land.
The agreement with LBDA had a provision to lease their broken down inoperable equipment to Dominion for the life of the project for 11,000,000 KSH. Dominion repaired two small excavators at a cost of around 5,000,000 KSH and then went to take delivery of a small dozer as part of this lease. When the truck arrived LBDA took the tracks off of it and refused to give it to us.
Then they came and by force took away the repaired and operational excavators. Dominion lost 16,000,000 KSH on the transaction and received no equipment. The provisions of the agreement required Dominion to pay 11,000,000 to the City of Kisumu, so LBDA could receive their title deed for the rice mill they had constructed in Kisumu.
This money was to be paid directly to Kisumu and we did so. The CID subsequently reported that the attorneys for the City and LBDA took off with the funds. The final straw was when LBDA went to three Cabinet Ministers and claimed we did not give environmental studies to NEMA nor have public meeting regarding the project. The Ministers issued a cease and vacate order to Dominion demanding we leave the project.
When this happened I was out of the country but we ceased all work and gave copies of the order to our now unemployed workers. Within hours masses of people were gathered in Siaya about to take down the government buildings.
The next day thousands descended on Bondo with effigies of the three ministers which they proceeded to burned on live TV. A few days later in Kisumu, we were told the largest demonstration in the city’s history was held. I arrived a few days later in Nairobi to a Government begging me not to leave. Looking back now I should have left.
Slowly we began to convert the swamp into dry land. First we worked on constructing the weir and diverting Yala River 12 KM in one direction and 8.8 KM in another, with the last becoming both an irrigation canal and a feeder canal to Lake Kenyaboli which had been cut off from incoming flows of water since around 1986.
The lake had evaporated to around one meter of depth in some areas and was full of salt. This was our first objective and once the weir was complete, water flowed to revitalize the lake. Finally, the massive weir (dam) was complete and on April 4, 2006 an official dedication ceremony was held with thousands present including the Honorable Raila Odinga.
The new 500 acre lake behind the weir was filled with fish and the local people loved it, but the politicians began stirring up trouble again. We now had a method to hold the flood waters from a small portion, so we began clearing and leveling the land. This was very expensive and time consuming. The first 300 acres cleared was given to the counties (150 acres each) in agreement with the lease.
This was for the local people to use, but only a few came on the land from the Bondo, and Siaya kept anyone from using their part for 2 full years. The counselors were trying to find a way to make a profit from it. Relocation of the main river to the side of the swamp was a very difficult task requiring large and special equipment.
This took over a year to complete. The reclaimed land could not be utilized for rice without a full irrigation constructed first. The irrigation system was to be designed by LBDA as was contracted for. When I approached them to do this work, they refused. We proceeded on our own to design it ourselves, utilizing the experience of a rice land developer from the US.
While this work was going on we planted maize to show the local people how it was done in the US. We did not do very well by US standards, but on average we achieved 35 (140 bushels) bags to the acre. When the politicians saw this they demanded more land than the agreement called for and for us to separate the Siaya and Bondo lands.
In late 2006 terrible rains and floods came to Nyanza displacing thousands of people. This situation was worse, just north of our land so Dominion gave massive amounts of food to these people. In the first week of December 2006 Dominion took truckloads of both maize and rice to the area and gave it to the se desperate families. The local area MP, Honorable Sammy Weya came and made speeches while we gave the food at multiple locations with people where they were sleeping on spots of high ground under pieces of plastic.
As I drove back to the farm behind the Honorable Member, he was wadding up 50 KSH notes and throwing them out the vehicle window. Hungry grown men would grovel in the mud to get one of these and it was so demeaning to see this. We set out to try to fix these people’s land, as much as possible, from floods again. Once we completed the Yala River diversion we relocated our heavy equipment to the north side and began construction of a dike there.
At the same time we went deep into the swamp to clear the blockages in the main drains and diverted the incoming flows of water from the area. It has not flooded in that area since 2006. We drained the floods from our land and the land of our neighbors as well. This action converted over 2500 acres of swamp into dry land. Most importantly we have allowed the very thankful local people to farm on this land until we expand the farm to the area. They still anxiously wait for us to get there and bring them good jobs.
During this time the Government of Kenya asked me to look at the problems in the housing sector. Raila Odinga was both the Minister of Housing and the Minister of Roads; so much of my contact was with him.
My companies in the US spent months of work developing a proposal which we took to the US Government though the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and received a $100,000,000 ( 10 Billion KSH) commitment for funding. Raila, and the President of OPIC, and I signed the documents during the Africa Convention at the Hilton Inn in Washington D.C. to much fanfare and the world press. Unfortunately Minister Odinga got into a major battle with the Kenyan Minister of Finance, Honorable David Mwiraria. The finance minister told me he was willing to proceed but had been embarrassed by Honorable Odinga, so the project had to be cancelled.
It was heartbreaking to take a firm commitment for the equivalent of 10 billion KSH back to the US Government. What a loss to the people of Kenya. Raila told the Kenyan people that I had taken the funds to West Africa. During this same time Raila began demanding for me to support him politically, with large sums of money. I explained the US law called “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” did not allow me to do this and would result in the end of the farm, my imprisonment and a $2,000,000.00 fine in the US. He would not accept this, saying people from Canada, and Europe gave him money so I had to do so as well. He claimed nobody would ever find out.
I said NO. At every subsequent meeting this soon became a topic of discussion. As rice production began we empowered many young Kenyans to become our distributors. Mrs. Ruth Odinga, the now Deputy Governor in Siaya and Raila’s sister pressed us hard to become a dealer in a prime location in Kisumu and finally we gave in. She took the rice and has yet to pay for it in over 5 years. But what can a person do with this family?
2007 was an election year and the stakes were high for all parties. I was in the US for Christmas when the vote took place and soon war broke out. I returned to Kenya as quickly as possible. This just nearly destroyed the farm operation.
Our key personal had gone home for Christmas, the roads were blocked; we had little fuel and nobody to take care of the fields. I spent weeks locked down on the farm harvesting all we could and processing all the rice we had until we ran out of fuel.
This was the only food source in the area so we were the source of life for these people. They were so thankful that they watched over the farm as it was their own. The violence was horrendous with death and destruction all around. I saw the bodies of the dead along the roads and our vehicles had to be protected by the army. I am so thankful to the National Police and the Army for the job they did. After the second MP was killed I had to get out of here so I hired the police to escort me to Siaya in a convoy of our trucks.
In Siaya we too on a Massai family that was living at the police station and then headed for Kisumu. I called my wife and friends back home to ask for their prayers and to say goodbye should the worst happen. Four terrible hours later we arrived in Kissumu at the airport. I sat there until after dark staying inside as the gunfire was only a few blocks away. The plane left under the cover of darkness with me and a cargo hold full of dead bodies.
The election yielded a whole different world in Kenya. The County Council vote for our area resulted in a woman winning but was denied the position and ODM placed Leonard Otieno Oriaro in the seat. His job was to interrupt everything Dominion did so we would abandon the farm to the politicians.
Leonard became a continuous harassment demanding more land, claiming this was ancestral land of the community even though they knew it used to be Lake Bottom. We finally obtained the recovery of 3800 acres of property. In 2010 nine hundred acres were officially given to the counties.
This with the 2500 acres to the north had the community now occupying 3400 acres of our 6300 acres of land, or more than half of it. It was now time for us to move forward with more recovery efforts so we began to clear the area north of what we call Doug’s ditch. As we moved in Leonard told the people to go and block us there and plant their crops so we could not plow our fields. The county had persons file lawsuits in court to claim ownership of the former swamp and this took years to work through the legal system. The courts all ruled in our favor but it cost us so much time and money.
Finally, the court cases were resolved and with decisions in hand we were ready to try again. In July of 2011 we put together a large medical team and performed 80 major surgeries for free over a three day period. While giving this medical to the people the Wildlife Authority showed up and claimed they were going to take our farm land from us with the stroke of a pen. The battles never end. More legal battles ensue but in the end we win again, but the cost in time and money is draining. Action Aid sponsored a court case against us for giving our land to others in 2011.
They lost and it was appealed again but they lost again. After years of delay we press forward with the beginning of our agricultural college constructing a 21,000 square foot facility for dorms, classrooms, food service and support facilities. Soon we had students learning modern agriculture and changing their environments. The ODM MCA’s are relentless with their attacks being beyond belief and now it is election time again.
The following is from my diary of August 2011:
Thursday morning came very early as this was a special day. We have nearly completed the fields on the south part of the property. The fields feed so many now and it is time to move across what we call Doug’s Ditch and start the reclamation of the next part of the farm. I skipped breakfast and headed for the shop.
There was excitement in the air as the tractors came to life. Chris and I took the short drive to the new bridge. We are in new fields starting a new phase of the farm. Two tractors breaking ground with a third on the way, but now one is stuck. A dozer and cables soon arrive to set it free again. Over the past two years the local people have been allowed to grow small gardens on the land, always knowing that they would need to leave when we needed to reclaim the property.
The Government as our landlord gave the people notice several months back not to plant anything else and to relocate their gardens to the 900 acres we set aside for them. A crowd of locals are gathering along the east side of the fields watching the machines and some are hurrying to collect a few small crops which remain in the area.
The land is good and the clearing is going well. We calculate that at the rate the tractors are going we will be able to clear 300 acres per day. An old gentleman, Austin, came along and we began discussing how we would best plant the newly reclaimed land.
Suddenly the crowd is growing ugly and we see the county counselor whipping them into a frenzy. It is time to get out of here but the bridge stands between us and safety. The crowd is on the run, led by this crazy man. The Jeep is in low range and won’t go more than a few miles an hour; I do not have time to change gears as I must stop to do so. Fifty feet more to the bridge and they are closing in.
Rocks are being hurled at the Jeep and men with machetes wildly swing them through the air hoping to beat me to the gap. First I start to turn around but know I have nowhere to go so the throttle is to the floor, our hearts race and by just a hair we make it to the bridge and across. They missed their chance. By now Chris is on the phone to the authorities, but the police have no fuel in their vehicles so can’t come until they source funds. Meanwhile the crowd is going for our tractors, throwing rocks, and finally they all end up in a circle together.
Our small security force tries to protect them. The counselor rallies the poor uneducated people telling them they should burn our tractors and threatening the drivers with burned homes if they drive them again. Many of the squatters are actually working for political leaders and others of wealth, who have tried to steal the land from us and then hire the locals at cheap prices to fatten their own wallets.
Minutes turn to an hour before the police arrive. One truck of five and then another of 10, and finally another of 10 more. Riot gear is put on and we lead them back to the fields, but this time I stop hundreds of feet from the crowd. The talking begins but the counselor raves on about how we are going to grow crops and send them to Nigeria.
He then changes to multiple other stories of nonsense. The crowd is told to disperse, but they stay. The police officials do not know what to do so they retreat back to the shop area and then to my office. Sworn statements must be received before arrests can be made, so witnesses must be brought in. Finally they are ready to go make the arrests and the rain begins to pour. Chris and I are told the crowd has dispersed.
The police are ordered to accompany us in our clearing efforts tomorrow but can we work in the mud? After the rain quits, Chris and I hop back in the jeep to go check it out. Cautiously we approach the bridge and all is clear. Nobody is in sight so we cross and stop. The mud is deep and working is out of the question for a few days. “Here they come again” Chris shouted as a band of machete (Panga) wielding men emerged from the bushes.
I threw the Jeep into reverse but it would not go in the mud. Forward towards the crowd then sideways in a slide and I was going towards the bridge again but I was not straight and headed for the water. Machetes were aimed at the windows. Reverse again and then a blast of power and we were safe again. The police were there in minutes this time and slowly the crowd dispersed.
A man-bridge had been built to cross over to our land by the locals so they would not have to swim. They smugly moved back to their bridge, as the police were in pursuit.
The mud was tough going for all. We must remove the bridge but it was substantial. Soon a 500 Hp Tractor was in place under armed guard and the whole bridge was towed away, never to return. At least now if they return they will all be wet and there are snakes in that water.
We got Barbara on the road to Kisumu where she will spend the night then get home to the US tomorrow. Her efforts to get the homes ready for the Americans on the way here are now going to have to wait until she can return.
By evening the US Embassy was notified and they will have people here in the morning. This is the first time we have had contact in the last 5 years, and they went into action. I called and left a message for the Prime Minister and he just called back to say he will be ask the Police Commissioner for his assistance. It is now very late and suddenly there is a ruckus and pounding outside my house and I don’t know what it is but I headed to my room to get my only defense weapon, a can of pepper spray.
This is an industrial can, not the little ones at home. It is quiet now but what next will the day hold. I am tired but thankful. It is not every day that one escapes an attempt on their life twice. Tonight, with two spears by my side, I will learn how to sleep with one eye open. Goodnight.
The night’s sleep was terrible but morning still came. Rains had made the roads nearly impassable for the first couple of hours, but then the Embassy and CID (FBI) arrived to review the situation. We have 25 heavily armed police here and the attention of the government.
The councilman is on the run, but the police are following every lead. He will be apprehended but when? Business must go on so meeting after meeting is held. Finally around 3:30 a television station arrived for an interview. It was time to get out of the office and see the situation on the ground.
A new ODM Governor, a cousin to Raila is elected and has asked for a meeting in Kisumu. A Dominion Senior Manager and I went to his requested location in a bar where he is having a grand old time.
We waited for about an hour and finally he and his attorney came to meet with us. His greeting words were, “Calvin I am going to take your farm from you.” Nice way to start off a new battle. I told him that he could try but Dominion Farms would remain beyond his term in office. The District Attorney charged the ODM counselor and court hearings began taking many years to obtain a ruling.
Even with the direct testimony of tens of witnesses and multiple police officers the judge was compromised and ruled that because I did not understand Lou I could not know the MCA was telling people to kill me. The police gave testimony and the other witnesses in the attack did the same. The police have appealed the ruling but when will it ever get to a higher court? This local ODM thug continues to harass and incite hatred in the community with impunity. Our new land development would be delayed again. Where is the justice?
We began more land development in 2013 and discovered the dirt was not compatible to rice so we started with soy and with the eye on possibly growing sugar cane. Research was done and the community begged us to grow sugarcane. I traveled the world looking at operations and spoke to experts.
When this got to the community there was great excitement in the air but the politicians had their own agendas. The attacks came in from every angle with ODM Honorable Jakoyo holding more rallies in Siaya demanding we leave the land but the locals rejected his words and told him to leave.
We made application for our license and then we waited. ODM Honorable Sammy Weya, a former MP requested I come to his home which I did along with the Dominion MD. Sammy demanded that the government be made in control of the project and that he, Sammy Weya be made chairman of the board and then I not return to the farm. I told him it would surely fail just like every other government owned sugar operation. Next Edwin, a relative to Raila Odinga showed up with his wife demanding I make him and others owners of the Sugar Mill. I told him I would rather have the old ladies working in my fields as partners than a politician, and that I am not in the business of making rich people richer. Nothing was working for them so it was time for them to revert back to their old tactics.
Public hearings were held in the community with the Sugar Directorate, however the ODM MCA’s and Sammy showed up with rocks in their trunks along with a group of thugs to throw the rocks. Many of the community and my employees were injured and will bear the scars until their graves. The community however united and became even more determined to have approval.
On their own, they sent delegations of community members to both the ODM Governor and to the leader of ODM, Honorable Raila Odinga asking for them to call off the dogs. This just intensified the attacks on the community. Environment studies were completed and fully approved by NEMA but for months the permits were not issued. The NEMA officers agreed that all was well but the Director General just would not sign the approvals. Nema had received a massive pile of non-sense objections filed by the ODM group trying to stop our licensing.
Meanwhile Raila Odinga, ODM Governor Rasanga and the MCA’s are headed to India to find a firm to replace Dominion on our land. They found a company called Godavari Enterprises and then falsified public meeting minutes for meetings, which did not take place. Godavari is actually a subsidiary of Farm Lands of Africa Inc, USA. Upon doing research on this company, it is an over the counter tiny company which is publically traded with a virtual “Zero Net Worth” and if they were involved with this kind of an operation they would be subject to the same “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” which would likely send their Directors to prison and impose a $2,000,000.00 USD fine on the company.
Honorable Raila Odinga obviously did not remember the many conversations I had with him regarding this type of criminal activity, when I refused to give him money. A shabby EIA was hastily prepared which did not even resemble a properly done EIA. It was simply a sham. The plans submitted re-allocated our lands to Godivari reducing our property size from 17,050 acres down to 6369 acres, or only 37% of our contracted area.
The company they chose was then brought to the area and introduced to the local people, now working on our land, on the north side of the farm saying they were to meet the new company coming to take our land from them. That was a very big mistake as the people ran them off the property.
Never-the-less ODM Governor Rasange signed an MOU with Godivari on Jan 11, 2016 granting those 6000 acres of our land and confirming that the County Government has the authority to do so. This is a totally illegal action done in secret by ODM and their desperately broke Indian partners.
Farmlands of Africa have the real name of Farmlands of Guinea, Ltd. It started out as a State of Nevada company incorporated on October 11, 2007 under the name of Kryptic Entertainment Inc. On April 1, 2011 it changed its name to Farm Lands of Guinea, Inc.
The last reported financials are dated June 30, 2011 when they had a Basic and Diluted share earnings of negative two cents per share for a Total Equity Deficit of negative $147,265.00 or negative 1,4726,500 KSH. THEY ARE WORSE THAN BROKE. These are the people that ODM chose to give my land to and be their new partners in the community.
The real reason for this deception is hidden in the document summary on page 6. It reads that the project cost is a total of 105, 000,000 KSH. That amount is not even one tenth of the cost to develop a rice farm of over 6,000 acres.
It would not pay for the cost of planting and growing even a crop of one half that size. It would not pay for the leveling and irrigation system to plant even 1000 acres. It would not pay for the tractors and equipment to even start a farm of this magnitude.
This whole scam was simply to divert 105,000, 000 KSH into the pockets of the defunct Kryptic Entertainment Inc. and from there to be redistributed as they may be instructed. This was simply money taken from the mouths of the Siaya children into the pockets of ODM crooks and their new partners. For a comprehensive EIA the price would not be over 5,000,000 from a fine qualified firm. This document is not an EIA, is a nothing but a sham.
As we continued in the process of obtaining our sugar mill permits the local people continued to meet with Raila requesting his support for the project and begging for him to stop the ODM MCA’s from attacking them physically, but the abuse continued. The ODM thugs confidently touted that Dominion would never get the license because NEMA would never issue the permit and that appeared to be a correct statement. Messages were sent to us stating that the problem was that I did not financially support the ODM team and it would never be issued. An MCA lady in the Siaya Assembly was dispatched to see Chris saying the troubles would all go away for a payment of 30,000,000 KSH. We did not pay, but we did continue to pray.
We spoke to the people at NEMA and they said all was well but the Director General was never available to sign the document and he became unreachable for months. Finally we got his secret phone number and I called him for which he was furious and he denied he was the Director General.
I recorded the call and he suddenly figured that out and blurted out “You are not going to turn me in for denying I am the Director General?” Sir all I want is the license. He said have someone at my office in the morning and you will get it, and sure enough it was ready before 8:00 am. After over a year of delay and many millions in extra costs we could now begin.
Defeat is a very hard thing to accept, especially if you are an ODM thug on a directed mission, so we waited for their next move, and that did not take long. In September of 2016, I was at Dominion farm when we received a message that ODM Governor Rasanga was on a local vernacular radio station knowing I was around and saying he was going to attack Dominion on a September 29th of 2016. Having already narrowly escaped one vicious attack on my life by ODM thugs we took this seriously and in the middle of the night I fled to Kisumu and on to Nairobi. We notified the US Embassy and the National Police.
Four ODM thugs, Sylvester Madiallo, Leonard Otieno Oriaro, Elisha Okuku, and Nicholas Ochieng, arrived in the morning bringing with them the County owned bulldozer to tear down the gate and attack me, but I and another American Director were already gone. That did not stop them as they continued to try to tear down our gates. Police gunshots had to be fired for them to stop their advance. Then they tried to escape on the road to Bondo but forgot about their being a police post located at the Daraga Bridge.
They were taken into custody and charged by the authorities but released on bond awaiting trial. The four men included the same ODM MCA, Leonard Oraio who attempted to have us hacked to death previously. This is State Sponsored Terrorism against an American Investor in what is supposed to be a civilized nation of laws. A detailed report was sent to the US Embassy and they are fully aware of the case at this point.
The first criminal trial took months while the carnage of the ODM MCA’s continued unabated, only to have the judge compromised. This time I hope it is not the same. The police chief in Kisumu, Mr. Willy Luguza has offered me full time armed protection while I am in the country and that is likely needed but today I am still just keeping a very low profile.
I used to travel freely and walk the streets with confidence that I was safe, but now it is gravely different. I seldom leave the farm for fear of my life being taken. I must travel on differing roads each time I travel and often I must have an armed person with me for security. Imagine this in Kenya where nearly 100,000 Americans and 100,000 British citizens visit each year, and the impact if they no longer come.
Dominion is the largest employer in Siaya County for both the size of the payroll and the number of employees, directly in the center and root of the Lou tribe, yet the ODM officials continue try and kill the owner of the company. We have invested over $40,000,000 USD or 4,000,000,000 KSH with more to come to finish the project.
Our farm consists of the following:
- The largest single rice producer in the country
- Dominion farms is a fully Government Approved Bird Sanctuary
- The largest supplier of fish fry and fingerlings in East Africa
- The largest animal breeding operation for improved dairy cattle with hundreds of locally owned animals being bred and cared for on our lands at no cost to the animal owners
- An approved fully accredited modern agricultural college
- An Early Child Education Facility and a primary school
- The largest employer in Siaya County with A workforce of 1000 people set to soon expand again
- A new modern sugar mill ready to open in four months’ time
- The only mechanized Sugar cane production farm in Western Kenya
- The only floating fish food production facility in East Africa
Imagine the impact on the Nation of Kenya if the ODM thugs continue their quest to kill or otherwise displace investors in Kenya. There is not a credible company in the developed world that would come to an area ruled by an ODM Government to endure the things Dominion has experienced in Yala Swamp. Many corporations from around the world have come and looked. They always leave when they understand the political corruption and dangers. We have had groups from the US wanting to make building materials on our property but it was not safe for them. A large solar producer from Europe desired to locate here but the investment would not be safe. A chia producer from Australia desired to come but that was not to be. Many others have come and looked but it is always the same and they all wonder why I stay.
On one occasion I was meeting with an organization in my office trying to work out a way for them to donate $10,000,000.00 to help small scale farmers. Meanwhile ODM MCA, Leonard Oriaro was across the street with a gang of thugs taunting me to come out, so they could get me. After around two hours the man stood to his feet and said he could not take it anymore and left. My heart was crushed for the people. The ODM leaders continue to speak lies, fabricate stories with no substantiation or evidence. The local people petition and beg for their ODM leader, Raila Odinga to intervene and call off the thugs, but not one finger is lifted.
What I have experienced is a deliberate government sponsored terrorist attack on me. It must be that I am a white American? We have invested over 4 billion KSH while never taking even a single shilling home. Every bit of food we produce is sold or given away in Kenya but it is clear that is just not enough for the greedy leadership of ODM.
You may ask why I am bringing these things out now. On Tuesday February 8th 2017 I have been summoned to appear in a parliamentary committee meeting, with demands that I abandon my work and leave the farm. There are four desperate criminals and now the ODM Member of Parliament from Bondo, Mr. Ochanda has joined the criminals in requesting this action through an innocent villager, Mr. Caleb Obonyis.
It is of significance that this ODM Member of Parliament from Bondo, Mr. Ochanda is now pushing the community to invade my land once again. It is very strange that the Member of Parliament for Alego- Usanga which covers the vast majority of my land is not involved in this process and deplores the actions of these persons. It is sad that mainstream government agencies would be involved in such cheap politics meant to assist Mr. Ochanda in his election bid in 2017, all at the expense of Dominion Farms and the local community of workers. I will defend myself against these bogus claims once again. These are desperate men and they are now taking desperate actions. This summon should not even be done as there is a current court case Number: Kisumu HCC 168 of 2011 at the Kisumu court of Appeal. Dominion won the case and was awarded 2,500,000 but the plaintiffs were unable to pay as of this date.
The world needs to know who is trying to kill me and injure my loyal staff of Kenyan workers, should the worst happen. I have over 500 pages of diaries of similar occurrences in this desperate land which I call my second home. I have only shard a few of them with you.
Kenya is a tough place to do business and hard to make money in. The government has withheld our VAT tax refunds for over 3 years making it difficult to even pay our workers, the ports are difficult and often corrupt, cartels overcharge the people and approvals take years to attain when it should be no longer than a few days. Corruption is rampant and these things hold the country in perpetual poverty. These are all bad and must be dealt with for the country to someday be a shining star in an otherwise dark continent. I truly hope this can happen.
For now I can firmly state without doubt that:
NO CREDIBLE INVESTOR WILL EVER COME TO A POLITICAL JURISDICTION CONTROLLED BY AN ODM GOVERNING BODY, WITHER THAT IS COUNTY, OR NATIONAL TO ENDURE WHAT DOMINION FARMS HAS ENDURRED.
What Dominion has experienced is far beyond anything imaginable. It is hard for any intelligent person to understand how political leaders could withhold prosperity from the poorest of the poor they are elected to serve for the selfish interests of their own.
Thanks for reading
Calvin Burgess, CEO
Dominion Farms, Ltd.