MOMBASA BILLIONAIRES BANKROLLING WILLIAM RUTO
For decades now, media-shy billionaire David Langat has been at the intersection of politics and business, splitting his time between strategising for Deputy President William Ruto and naturing his multi-billion businesses.
In July 2021, Langat, a reclusive tycoon, made headlines after he was spotted accompanying the DP for a private business engagement in Uganda. Ruto was slated to lay the foundation stone for a Biological Drugs and mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Matuga, Uganda alongside President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
At the time, the duo had seemingly made up after an earlier 2-year fallout that saw Langat part ways with the DP in 2019 and join Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) headed by former Bomet Governor, Isaac Ruto.
When he first joined DP Ruto’s camp in 2007, he played an integral role in the DP’s circle and even campaigned alongside other tycoons including Joshua Kulei and Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop, alias Buzeki.
To amass the wealth, Langat had his start in business more than three decades ago when he set up his company, the ubiquitous DL Group, in the mid-1980s with a vision of building it into one of Africa’s best Group of Companies, a feat he has since achieved.
According to the company’s profile, one of the earliest business ventures of the DL Group involved the export and import of commodities like electronics and furniture.
“The DL Group grew from its humble beginnings in the coastal city of Mombasa and expanded into the tea production sector through the DL Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi County in the Great Rift Valley.
“This gave it a stronghold in the tea sector, from which it has since been able to expand into Tanzania where it is now the leading Tea producer,” reads the statement on its website.
At the Coast, where the company was started, it owns Nyali Super Centre, arguably Mombasa’s largest mall. Langat also owns Sunrise Resort and other prime real estate projects at the coast.
Nyali Center has a built-up area of over 330,000 square feet offering office spaces, shops, supermarkets, restaurants and showrooms.
The mall, a five-storey building, stands on a 6.7acre piece of land at the heart of the commercial hub of New Nyali Mombasa.
Outside the Coastal region, the tycoon is also known for some of the high-ranking investment portfolio including a Ksh200 billion industrial park investment in Eldoret Town.
Christened Africa Economic Zones (AEZ) Pearl River Industrial Park, the establishment occupies a 700-acre parcel of land and is the first privately owned special economic zone (SEZ).
Lagat explained that he embarked on the project in order to help farmers in Uasin Gishu County earn more from their produce.
“I have travelled quite a lot in terms of doing business in different countries and have been inspired by the development in other countries. I felt that as a country, we lag behind in industrialisation, and that was when the idea was conceived.
“The best thing I did was to buy land and my main idea then was to do the normal industrial work. My focus was agro-processing,” he stated in a past interview.
The tycoon owns Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi County, Kapchepet Tea Factory in Kericho County and runs Selenkei Investments Ltd, a company that generates electricity from solar energy.
For his entrepreneurial skills, he was named as Mombasa County’s best business leader by The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Mombasa brand in 2016.
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