Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore yesterday arrived in Malindi, where he is expected to lay the foundation stone for his exclusive new club. Some local residents have opposed the leasing of land from the marine park for the new resort. Photo/DANIEL NYASSY
Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore made an unexpected visit to Malindi on Sunday amid protests over his Sh500 million Billionaires Resort to be built in the town.
For the first time, Mr Briatore drove himself from the Malindi airport to his luxurious resort, Lion in the Sun, 6km away, after landing in his private jet at 8am.
The trip comes amid controversy over the leasing of a 3.5 acre plot from the Malindi Marine Park for 25 years as part of the exclusive club to be built by Mr Briatore.
The land will be leased at a fee of Sh1.5 million a year, which would increase to Sh4 million at the expiry of the lease.
Residents and local leaders opposed the lease at a public meeting last week, arguing that it would destroy the environment and deny boat operators, curio sellers and other beach operators access to the marine park.
On Sunday, sources said that the billionaire would stay in Malindi for a week. He is expected to lay a foundation stone for the project during his stay.
Mr Briatore arrived with his wife, Ms Gregoraci Elisabetta, and three other women identified as Dascioraite Lota Lietova, Aronsone Viktorija and Zemtson Vladimir.
Conspicuously missing was Mr Briatore’s nearly one-year-old son, Falco Nathana Briatore. The businessman did not address journalists.
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