200 res­i­dents die an­nu­ally from land dis­putes — Kidero

He says land­grab­bing in­volves pow­er­ful peo­ple, in­clud­ing well-con­nected car­tels

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

About 200 peo­ple are killed ev­ery year in Nairobi due to land-re­lated dis­putes, Gov­er­nor Evans Kidero has said.

He ad­mit­ted the nu­mer­ous cases of land­grab­bing are a chal­lenge to his ad­min­is­tra­tion and are giv­ing him sleep­less nights.

Kidero said the problem in­volves pow­er­ful peo­ple, in­clud­ing well-con­nected car­tels that com­prise busi­ness­peo­ple and politi­cians.

“I spend 60 per cent of my time deal­ing with land-re­lated is­sues. It is a big problem, es­pe­cially be­cause it in­volves car­tels,” he said on Thurs­day.

Kidero cited 5,000 acres in Em­bakasi, which, he said, de­spite legally be­long­ing to the county gov­ern­ment, has been “taken forcibly” by the Kenya De­fence Forces. LANDGRABBERS HIGH- LEVEL PEO­PLE “The county bought this land from the Kay­ole Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion in 1971. In the 1990s, the army in­vaded it and took 3,000 acres. Last month, they took the re­main­ing 2,000 acres and cut off a road that passes through it,” he said. “No­body dares chal­lenge them be­cause they have guns and tanks. We tried the po­lice and they said hapo hatuwezi [we can’t].”

Speak­ing dur­ing a Lands sum­mit at State House on Mon­day last week, Kidero said land­grab­bing in­volves in­di­vid­u­als of “the high­est level.”

Kidero also cited the Lang’ata Road Pri­mary School play­ground, which, de­spite hav­ing been given back to the school and a fence erected, is still un­der a pri­vate de­vel­oper’s name.

“My records show own­er­ship has not changed. In my records, there is noth­ing to in­di­cate that the Air­port View ti­tle deed has been can­celled,” he said

Mean­while, KDF of­fi­cers in Em­bakasi Gar­ri­son on Fri­day kicked out 500 quarry work­ers from the con­tro­ver­sial 5,000 acres.

The work­ers claimed they were beaten up by the sol­diers who were fer­ried in by mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles.

This came just a day af­ter the Nairobi county gov­ern­ment ob­tained a court order stop­ping the mil­i­tary from in­ter­fer­ing with the con­struc­tion of the road that passes through the land and links the Mi­hang’o and Kay­ole es­tates.

The sol­diers last month dug trenches across the road, cut­ting it off and bar­ring res­i­dents from us­ing it. This led to protests that saw Mi­hang’o MCA Paul Ka­dos ar­rested for lead­ing res­i­dents in demon­stra­tions. The res­i­dents bar­ri­caded the East­ern By­pass on Fri­day, claim­ing the road was closed with­out no­tice.

/PA­TRICK VIDIJA

Na­tional Lands Com­mis­sion deputy chair­per­son Abi­gael Mukolwe ex­plains the con­tents of a dummy ti­tle deed dur­ing the launch of the Na­tional Guide­lines for Ti­tle Deeds Ap­pli­ca­tions for Schools at Lang’ata Road Pri­mary on June 14 last year

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