NAIROBI, Kenya, 25 – Thousands of residents of Mukuru Kwa Njenga have won the first round of their battle with a city tycoon after the Nairobi City County Government obtained a court order barring their eviction.
Governor Mike Sonko told the residents of the populous informal settlement in Embakasi their land is public property.
Speaking after holding a meeting with representatives of the slum residents at City Hall, Sonko said the disputed piece of land was given to squatters in the 90’s by the national government, but unscrupulous land dealers forged ownership documents and later sold it to private developers.
“The land in question is public property since the government allocated it for settlement of squatters after a motion on the same was approved by the National Assembly. We are going to present the facts before the court because we know the land is public property,” he said.
The governor said his administration together with President Uhuru Kenyatta stopped demolition of houses in slum areas until the county and national governments implement the construction of affordable houses for slum residents.
“Sixty per cent of Nairobi residents reside in slums. Therefore, we cannot allow the demolition of their houses by a few individuals who are acquiring land and court orders fraudulently,” said Sonko.
The Governor has reiterated that the executive order he issued last year stopping demolition of houses in slum areas still stands.
He asked the national and county government officials to desist from evicting slum residents.
Sonko’s administration is set to construct some 200,000 affordable housing units in a bid to complement the national government’s housing pillar of the Big Four Agenda.
The national government plans to construct some 500,000 affordable housing units.
“President Kenyatta and I have stopped demolition of houses in slum areas because we have to give alternative area of shelter before anyone is told to move from their houses. I am the co-chair of Nairobi Regeneration team and I will not allow evictions to happen before we construct the affordable houses project,” said the Governor.
Meanwhile, Sonko has reiterated that the issuance of title deeds by the President in Nairobi was stopped because of illegal allotment of land in some areas in the capital city.
”We will not issue the title deeds until we conduct an audit to identify the genuine land owners and weed out land grabbers from the list of beneficiaries,” Sonko stated.
Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe who also attended the meeting at City Hall, echoed Sonko’s sentiments saying that the court order that had been obtained by Orbit Chemicals Industry was issued a decade ago, adding that it should be set aside.
“We will not allow the evictions to happen since we have the support of the President and Governor Sonko. We know very well that the private developer obtained the court order for eviction through unscrupulous ways,” added the area MP.