, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Airport View Housing Limited on Saturday defended itself against accusations of grabbing public school land in Lang’ata.
In a paid newspaper advert, the company said it has been unfairly tried in the court of public opinion and asked that the legal processes initiated to verify the true owners of the contested two-acre property opposite the Wilson Airport be allowed to run their course.
“It is only fair and proper that the due process of law is observed and that the rights of all persons affected, as guaranteed by the Constitution, are upheld. This involves allowing all such persons to be heard before any conclusions are arrived at,” they stated.
The company also sought to distance itself from the tear-gassing of Lang’ata Road Primary School children who on Monday protested the alleged grabbing of their playground.
“We had no hand in the chaos which unfortunately resulted in injury to pupils. As Kenyans of goodwill, we convey our heartfelt sympathies to the victims and their families.”
Airport View Housing Limited, in the newspaper ad, committed itself to participating in the public hearings called for the National Land Commission (NLC) over the contested piece of property.
“Contrary to reports vilifying and portraying the company and its officials as land grabbers, we uphold and respect the rule of law,” they stated.
On Thursday, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu identified Mandip Singh Amrit, Manjit Singh Amrit, Harbans Singh Amrit and Kamal Prakash Amrit as the directors of the company.
Ngilu came under pressure to, “unveil,” the directors of the firm following Monday’s tear-gassing of school children by police when they joined activists to push down a section of a stone wall put up Airport View Housing Limited to keep them off the land.
Prior to Monday’s protests, NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri had directed that the wall be brought down and the children be allowed to access the land after “preliminary investigations,”showed that Lang’ata Road Primary School was awarded a grant for it in 1974.
He said the Commission however had to give Airport View Housing Limited a hearing before revoking the two grants, land records show, they obtained for the same land in 1989 and 1994.