Nairobi News

Hustle

Battle over ownership of prime Donholm land yet to be resolved – NLC

The National Land Commission (NLC) now says it has not determined the ownership of several contested pieces of prime land in Donholm, Nairobi County, that have been plagued by protracted legal battles.

In Gazette Notice Number 1547 of February 15, 2019, NLC Vice-Chairperson Abigael Mbagaya  said the commission has never determined the ownership of the tracts.

“The NLC has not rendered any determination under section 14 of the NLC Act in relation to Nairobi Block 82/7375, Nairobi Block 82/7333 or the title thereof,” Ms Mbagaya said.

The six-year term of the nine-member NLC team, chaired by Dr Muhammad Swazuri, ended on February 19, 2019.

STILL IN COURT

The notice further indicates that a battle over the ownership is still in court.

The notice restates the position the commission took in April last year, when it disowned “NLC resolutions” purporting to award prime parcels of land to self-help groups in Nairobi.

The commission disowned the letters on whose strength two self-help groups were laying claim to the land.

The gazette notice comes as a huge blow to a group of squatters calling themselves Sowesava Self-Help Group, who have long held that NLC allocated them the land.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a 10-year legal battle pitting a group linked to the developers of Greenspan Estate and another self-help group, Alfajiri Self-Help Group, over a Sh1 billion parcel of land in Donholm, Nairobi.

Environment and Land Court judge Kossy Bor ruled that Sauti Sacco Society Ltd was the owner of the parcel of land 82/4264, a block from which a portion was hived off and sold to Greenspan Developers Ltd.

The court further ruled that the suit property was private land and ceased to exist when it was subdivided into two blocks, noting that Alfajiri Self-Help Group cannot claim the land.

LAND GRABBING

The NLC had earlier accused some self-help groups of being behind land grabbing in Eastlands, Nairobi County.

In April last year, Dr Swazuri claimed that cartels would identify prime, undeveloped land and present themselves as squatters who wanted to be settled by the commission, thereby disinheriting the genuine owners of the land.

This practice has been more pronounced at the Coast, where landowners regularly find themselves dispossessed of their land.

The commission said individuals eyeing other people’s land regularly mobilise “professional squatters” to encroach on private property and claim that their ancestral land has been grabbed.

In a recent case in Nairobi, there was an ownership battle between Uchumi Supermarket and a group of squatters over prime, undeveloped land opposite the Kasarani Sports Complex.

After an expensive and long-drawn-out case, the court ruled in favour of the supermarket chain.