Govt reclaims Highridge Health Centre

February 9, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – Lands Minister James Orengo says the title deed issued to a private developer for the piece of land where the demolished Highridge Health Centre stood in Parklands is illegal.

Speaking at the site of the demolition on Wednesday, Mr Orengo said that under the law, the land can only be used to provide health services to residents and no one is allowed to occupy it.

"The title here said that the land and buildings shall only be used for the purpose of a clinic and no person shall reside on the land," he said.

He pointed out that the land was neither to be sold nor subdivided.

"It also said that the guarantee of this land shall not subdivide it and most importantly, he shall not sell, sub-let or part with the possession of the land or any part thereof," he said.

He further stated that the City Council of Nairobi from whom the proprietor allegedly bought the piece of land had no authority to dispose of it.

"It has been said that the City Council sold the land, but the original title deed states that the council does not have the power to sell it.  So whoever says they have bought it are lost," he said.

The Lands Minister said he had revoked the title deed issued to the private proprietor alleged to have bought the piece of land where the demolished Highridge Health Centre stood.

Mr Orengo said it was acquired fraudulently and as such was not valid.

He stated that his ministry would work closely with that of Local Government to ensure that there was correct documentation.

"I have already instructed the Commissioner of Lands that any documentation that anybody has in relation to these two pieces of land be expunged. You will see this in the Friday issue of the Kenya Gazette," he said.

"We will work to together with the local government and the Westlands legislator Fred Gumo to ensure that the title for the land is returned," he stated. 

He was speaking in Highridge where he outlined the measures put in place to avoid a repetition of the incident.

"I am saying that we will not return this land to the City Council. It will be under the care of the council together with the Local Government since I do not want it to be sold again," he said.

Speaking also during the occasion, the Minister of Local Government Musalia Mudavadi instructed the City Council of Nairobi not to approve building plans by anyone who wants to build on the controversial piece of land.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the dispensary would continue giving services to the residents there.

He warned that stern action would be taken against anybody who attempted to encroach on the land.

"As the City Council of Nairobi, you should not approve the building plans of anybody who is coming to build here. The question we want to now ask the council is… "Did you pass the building plans of anybody here?" he posed.

Mr Mudavadi further called on the council to set aside some funds to assist in the rebuilding of the clinic.

"There is no one who has been given permission to build here and no plans should be approved by City Hall. As an emergency measure I am asking the Mayor together with the Finance Planning Committee to set aside some funds to assist in the rebuilding of the centre so that it can resume its services," he said.

The deputy premier said investigations would be undertaken to determine whether there are such occurrences in other areas.

"I want to thank the Minister of Lands for looking into the matter. I urge him to look at other areas where similar situations have taken place," he said.

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