Land-grab­bers threaten jua kali sec­tor, Kidero prom­ises to help

Kenya Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Jua Kali As­so­ci­a­tions CEO Muteti says only 50 out of 245 clus­ters have ti­tle deeds for the land where they op­er­ate

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - JULIUS OTIENO @juliu­so­tieno04

The jua kali industry, the big­gest job cre­ator in Nairobi, is un­der threat be­cause of land-grab­bers, Gov­er­nor Evans Kidero was told yesterday.

The Kenya Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Jua Kali As­so­ci­a­tions said in­di­vid­u­als pos­ing as of­fi­cials of jua kali as­so­ci­a­tions are reg­is­ter­ing land be­long­ing to the groups in their names. This leads to fre­quent evic­tions of the ar­ti­sans from their places of work.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Richard Muteti said the in­di­vid­u­als have faked as­so­ci­a­tions’ pa­pers and are vis­it­ing the Lands min­istry be­hind their back to ac­quire ti­tle deeds.

“Quacks are tak­ing away our land. We have been won­der­ing why there are fre­quent evic­tions, even in ar­eas where our peo­ple have worked from for more than 20 years,” Muteti said.

QUACKS TAKE AD­VAN­TAGE

He said only 50 of the 245 jua kali clus­ters (as­so­ci­a­tions) in the city have ti­tle deeds for the land where they op­er­ate. Muteti said the quacks are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion to grab the land.

He spoke dur­ing a break­fast meet­ing with the gov­er­nor at City Hall. The event was at­tended by more than 200 of­fi­cials from the as­so­ci­a­tions.

Muteti said ex­pen­sive land rates, ha­rass­ment by askaris, lack of ac­cess to credit and bro­kers who have in­fil­trated the industry are the other prob­lems fac­ing the sec­tor.

He said they owe City Hall about Sh1 bil­lion in land rates ar­rears and urged Kidero to waive the debt.

“Our groups are not reg­is­tered and there­fore we can­not do busi­ness with the county There is also no struc­tured way of en­gag­ing the county,” Muteti said.

Kidero said the county will waive the rates and en­gage the Lands min­istry and the Na­tional Land Com­mis­sion to re­voke the ti­tle deeds is­sued fraud­u­lently. He said they will be reg­is­tered un­der the as­so­ci­a­tions’ names.

/JACK OWUOR

Jua kali ar­ti­san Ge­orge Onyango at his work­shop in Ka­mukunji on July 19

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