Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yet another round of demolitions in Nairobi?

Ministry of  Roads Bulldozer bring down a residential house worth more than Ksh50 million that was built on a road reserve on July 14,2010. The newest headache for property owners is a piece of land claimed by the government off Mombasa Road, just a few kilometres off the South B turnoff at Bellevue. PHOTO/FILE

Ministry of Roads Bulldozer bring down a residential house worth more than Ksh50 million that was built on a road reserve on July 14,2010. The newest headache for property owners is a piece of land claimed by the government off Mombasa Road, just a few kilometres off the South B turnoff at Bellevue. PHOTO/FILE 

Readers have reacted angrily to reports that yet another round of demolitions could be in the offing in Nairobi, this time closer to the central business district.

The newest headache for property owners is a piece of land claimed by the government off Mombasa Road, just a few kilometres off the South B turnoff at Bellevue.

The government has asked developers who have genuine documents to present them for scrutiny, and one of the developers, the director of the multi-million-shilling Diamond Park Estate, has said that he bought the piece of land on which the estate stands from the National Social Security Fund in 2003.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgey, however, insists that the houses are built on government land belonging to the veterinary department, who are planning to construct a factory there to produce livestock vaccines.

EXPANDING INSTITUTIONS

“We shall not allow the country to be held hostage by people who do not want us to expand our institutions,” says Kosgey. “Those who have genuine documents should come for discussions with us. There are people who are innocent in this whole saga, especially the second, third even fourth buyers.”

But a reader who identifies himself as Kipunpung’it, commenting on the story, says the government’s call for those with genuine documents to come forward is “a contradiction”.

“Whether somebody or everybody was duped, you do not expect their title deeds to be genuine if the land belongs to the government, unless the government’s claims are false,” says Kipunpung’it.

“Why does the government have to wait until people have built and inhabited their houses for years? In Embakasi, a big piece of land that belongs to the GSU has been grabbed and sold to unsuspecting buyers. Many of them have put up expensive structures but, later, the government will start claiming its land.”

Jack Thomas also asks where the ministry was when construction was going on, while Ngek Nam Chandore says he is “amused” to hear that despite having a title deed issued from the ministry, if you do not have a deed plan for the parcel of the land, then it is not genuine.

“In any case,” he says, “what would it cost now to convert concrete slabs to compost manure for agricultural purposes?”

Meanwhile, iamtiredofthis says this is a case of the government impoverishing its people.

“If Sh16 billion investments have already been made on the land and title deeds from the same government issued, I really do not see why the veterinary department cannot take the fraudsters to court and purchase land elsewhere. What are those innocent buyers of property who took loans supposed to do?”

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