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MCAs decry land grabbing in Nairobi estates

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) have implored on the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to reign in increased cases of grabbing of public utility land by private developers.

This comes after Nairobi MCAs raised the alarm over the takeover of most playgrounds and open spaces by the private developers working in cahoots with county employees.

Eastleigh, Baba Dogo, Karen, and Lang’ata are just but some of the areas most affected by the new cases of grabbing, the MCAs say.

It comes a week after a private developer in Eastleigh laid claim to Muyuyu Street along the busy area.

Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto also decried how private developers collude with county employees to grab public land meant for utilities such as playgrounds and open spaces while obtaining leases through crooked means.

He alleged that the said developers then obtain approvals from the county and put up various developments on the property.

“In Baba Dogo for instance, public land LR. No. 336/667/64 set aside for utilities has been fenced off by a private developer despite the historical protests by residents,” said Mr Ogeto.

He pointed out that in June 2017, residents of the area petitioned the County Assembly regarding grabbing of the land, which the petition was considered and a comprehensive report prepared, and the county government was directed to repossess the land after it was established that the land was public land set aside for the establishment of public utilities for residents.

However, the planning department instead proceeded to issue the developer with a new lease and approvals who has now fenced off the property to the dissatisfaction of the residents.

“Efforts by the area MCA and Deputy Speaker Geoffrey Majiwa and other leaders to pursue the matter with the County planning department has been unsuccessful out of frustrations,” he said.

Mugumoini MCA Jared Akama also complained that public land plot LR. No./BLK/60/493 in his ward that was meant to be a playing ground has since been irregularly allocated to an individual who was subsequently sold it to a private developer who is currently electing a building with a capacity of approximately 400 persons’ right in the middle of Moi residential estate.

He added that the irregular allocation of public utility land to private developers is on the rise and is usually done without public participation.

“Residents continue to raise grievances regarding the irregular land grabbing and want such land urgently reverted for public use,” he said.

The ward representatives now want both City Hall and NMS to come clean on measures being put in place to prevent private developers from grabbing public land in the county.

This is in addition to measures taken on county planning officers who collude with land grabbers to authorise the approvals and construction by private development on grabbed public land across the county.