State must sort out land mess in the city
Once again hundreds of homeowners are staring at the possibility of losing their investments, running into millions of shillings.
Felix Koskei, the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture says the 210 acres on which Diamond Park estate sits belongs to the Veterinary Department under his ministry.
The CS maintains that the department must be allowed to develop the land and build a factory to produce vaccines for livestock.
For this to happen, all 600 houses on the land, plus the magnificent Winners Chapel must be demolished, the CS maintains.
He appreciates that some property owners are innocent second, third or even fourth buyers.
They and the church maintain they have genuine titles to the properties. According to the managers of the Diamond Park estate, where a single house is currently going for as much as Sh16 million, the land was bought from the NSSF way back in 2003.
“We have all the documents including the original title deed from NSSF and we are ready to present them to court if it comes to that,” said Diamond Park director Mohammed Khalif Ali.
Curiously, the pensions fund has remained tight-lipped since the saga started last week.
It is not for us to determine who is right or wrong in this saga, but we do note that this is not the first time third parties have come out of the blue to claim ownership to land long after it has been sold and developed.
One wonders where the Veterinary Department was when the land was being sub-divided and sold and title deeds issued to the new owners.
What happens to those who have taken mortgages against the properties now facing demolition? Is somebody suggesting that the lenders never conducted due diligence before entering into contracts with potential buyers or developers?
The Secretary for Lands has said she does not know about the tussle. Both the Lands and Agriculture ministries should read from the same script the tale is to be believed. The home owners say they carried out due diligence so who is at fault?
It is time the Government sorted out the land mess, especially in Nairobi, once and for all to save innocent Kenyans from losing their hard earned investments.