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City loses two prime properties to ‘grabbers’

City Hall has lost two prime properties in Nairobi and county assembly members are blaming the executive for failing to act fast enough to reclaim them.

Secretary Lillian Ndegwa and other chief officers had a hard time explaining how City Hall lost Kilimani Estate staff houses and a portion Landhies Road Market near the County Bus Station to private developers.

County Chief Lands Officer S.G. Mwangi told a meeting called by the Public Accounts Committee to discuss the county’s financial statement that the Kilimani property was sold to Semedy Trading Company 25 years ago by the City Council of Nairobi.

Ms Ndegwa, however, said she was not aware of the sale.

“I’m not aware the land belongs to any individual or company,” she told the meeting at City Hall on Tuesday.

PROTECT INTERESTS

According to Mr Mwangi the estate, on Ngong Road, has eight housing units and half the tenants pay rent to City Hall. He said he did not know who the rest paid.

Members of the PAC led by chairman Robert Mbatia accused Ms Ndegwa and her team of failing to protect the interests of the county.

They said a new building was coming up at an open space on the property and tasked the county secretary to find out and report to the committee who was putting up the structure.

On Landhies Road Market, Ms Ndegwa said the property was sold to former nominated MP Joseph Mulu Mutisya, who later sold it to Park Towers.

Mr Mutisya was a close associate of then President Moi.

What surprised the PAC members is that the land was recently surveyed by a City Hall surveyor when a perimeter wall was erected around the plot.

City Hall has been in the spotlight over irregular allocating of public land to private developers, particularly after the Lang’ata Road Primary School saga where a private firm is said to have grabbed the institution’s playground before President Kenyatta intervened.