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Private developers on Outer Ring road left empty handed, titles revoked

Private developers on Nairobi’s Outer Ring Road are staring at losses following a decision to revoke their ownership of land along the route.

This comes after the government gazetted a National Land Commission (NLC) decision to revoke ownership of land along the Outer Ring Road corridor.

The lands commission has been holding hearings to review the issuing of title deeds, which was being contested by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), because the properties are on the road reserve.

ROAD EXPANSION

The dispute over the ownership of the plots has held back the road’s expansion project with owners demanding an estimated Sh3 billion in compensation from the Donholm roundabout to Taj Mall.

The other half, from the roundabout to the Thika Superhighway has already been acquired at a cost of Sh1.5 billion for three properties.

The project has fallen a year behind schedule, with the contractor and the consultant seeking additional funds of up to Sh7.9 billion, including money to settle the compensation claims.

“Kura can now go ahead and start construction. There’s nothing to hold them back,” NLC vice-chairperson Abigael Mukolwe said.

BIGGEST LOSERS

One of the biggest losers will be Taj Mall, a multipurpose shopping complex at Embakasi, as well as 74 land owners along Tassia and Fedha estates bordering the road, who will have to cede part of their parcels.

Oil Libya, Safeway Supermarket, Jogoo Outer Ring Petrol Station and Gulf Energy Petrol station will also be forced off the strategic locations they have been unwilling to abandon.

Fifty other properties are also listed in the gazette notice published on Friday to enforce decisions by the National Land Commission to revoke their deeds.

“They were on a thoroughfare set aside for road expansion and road-related amenities so they stand revoked,” Ms Mukolwe said.

PROPERTIES TO BE DEMOLISHED

An offshoot of the road towards Kayole Estate along Manyanja Road has not been spared either. Ten properties will have to be brought down and the land returned to the Nairobi City County government.

The owners of the petrol stations had argued that theirs is private property they acquired from the National Social Security Fund, on the approval of the lands commission.

Another lot of property owners around Tassia area changed their residential land into commercial use illegally.

“If they had followed the procedure they would have been required to leave seven to nine metres. For that 7km stretch we agreed they provide the land for free,” Ms Mukolwe said.

The Taj Mall owner, Mr Rameshchandra Govind, had bought the land from an individual, although half of it had already been bought by the government and the owner compensated.