, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – The controversy surrounding the Tassia II infrastructure development project has now taken a new turn with plot owners saying the new National Social Security Fund (NSSF) price is too high and unrealistic and that they might not be able to pay up.
The dwellers, who have developed various properties on the parcels, told Capital FM News on Thursday, that they will not be able to raise the Sh920,000 that the Fund is now demanding.
They instead accused the Fund of being malicious, arguing that the price has been going up without proper notice and without clearly laid out guidelines.
The Fund started by demanding Sh315,000 from every settler before revising the prices up to Sh327,000 then to Sh550,000 before settling on the latest figure of Sh920,000.
Unfortunately those who had already cleared their Sh550,000 will also have to top up.
“You know it has not been easy and then now I’m hearing about a further increment and it is not affordable. That is why we are crying today. And in my situation it means I’ll end up paying more than Sh1.5 million,” said Joseph Kihara, Director of Tassia Hill Academy.
The new increment will also serve as a double blow to those who had not even settled the Sh550,000 while those who had cleared their dues will again be forced to dig deeper into their pockets or risk losing their properties.
A business lady who only gave her name as Jane said the Fund had not even bothered to consult the land owners before revising the prices upwards again.
She said that the only option that the dwellers now had was to go to court.
Jane had already settled the Sh550,000 and was waiting for a title deed from the Fund but the increment will now mean that she would have to cough up the remaining amount before finally getting her title.
“I don’t understand how the price has gone up again. I was waiting for my title deed so it’s like those NSSF people are taking us for a ride and dishonouring every agreement that we come up with,” she complained.
The NSSF released the new figure on Wednesday and is due to visit the area again in a week’s time to begin another survey.
Another resident by the name Julius Kipaliesh added that they bought the land from former Embakasi MP David Mwenje (now deceased) before they started paying money to the NSSF after losing a court battle.
Unfortunately for Kipaliesh he has not even finished paying up the Sh550,000 having already paid Sh400,000.
“It is almost as if the NSSF wants to take our land and I am asking the government to intervene in this matter,” he said.
Others like Paul Masoi, who own more than one plot, said that they would now have to sell one of their parcels to raise the money. Luckily for them, the NSSF develops a payment plan for those in great need and does not force them to pay cash upfront.
“I had only paid half of what was required and I will not be able to raise the additional amount,” he complained.
According to the Fund, the land was bought between 1994 and 1995 then land gabbers started encroaching on the area in 2001.
The NSSF then moved to court to have them kicked out of the land but by the time the court was issuing its decision the land had been divided and subdivided making it difficult for the Fund to actualise its initial plan.
It then decided to sell the land to the dwellers but the Nairobi City Council put up several conditions before the NSSF could do this.
Among these conditions was the directive to put up proper access roads in the area, develop sewerage and drainage systems, put up lights and connect the area to other neighbouring estates like Donholm and Embakasi.
To realise this, the Fund invited bidders who would undertake these infrastructure development initiative before settling on China Jiangxi International Limited.
The Chinese firm expects Sh4.6bn to carry out the works and the NSSF hopes to offset this bill from the money that will be collected from payments made by the plot owners.
Elaborate apartment blocks and mansions, entertainment spots and private schools are just some of the few developments that have been put up on the land.
Semi-permanent structures have also been constructed on the parcel.