City property owners suffer losses over road expansion
SEE ALSO :More illegal buildings to fall this week“In November 2017, KeNHA marked my flats for demolition, triggering a mass exodus by my tenants. This rendered me unable to service my loan. In December 2017, the bank wrote me a demand letter. The bank was to auction my property on Friday last week,” Kahura said. That is why Kahura went to court. “But I wonder for how long this will continue. We were given award letters by KeNHA and National Land Commission (NLC) indicating that we would be paid. This has not happened,” Kahura said. Kahura's experience is shared by other 4,000 property owners who are now struggling after their businesses were disrupted. Some can barely feed their families, yet months back they had a life of abundance, enjoying the fruits of their investments. Kimani Njuki, vice-chairman of the PAPs adhoc committee, said he had lost a Sh50 million project that his Rokim Company had won to make energy saving improved cooking stoves. “We competitively won the Sh50 million USAID funded project to produce 18,000 stoves. I invested Sh20 million in staff, facilities, tools and machinery. But when my workshop was earmarked for acquisition, USAID closed the project when it was 15 per cent complete. Now I have machines worth Sh40 million lying idle,” said Mr Njuki.
SEE ALSO :Anxiety as agency reclaims road reserves“As a result, I am unable to pay fees for my children and the head teacher has given me notice that he won’t accept my children this term. My life has changed and left me poorer,” Wambui said. Kimani said the group had petitioned the World Bank, which is funding the project, National Assembly, Senate, Ombudsman, NLC, KeNHA, Ministry of Transport, the National Treasury and other relevant bodies for help to no avail. A letter written to them on January 4, says Government has cancelled the loan by World Bank to finance the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (Nutrip). “This is to inform you of the outcome of the meeting held on December 21, 2018, at the National Treasury with Government and World Bank on the James Gichuru-Rironi component of the Nutrip project. It was decided that the loan, which is financing Nutrip, be cancelled. This cancellation took effect on December 31, 2018,” said a letter signed by Eng SO Omer for KeNHA Director General. The letter further says Government will take over the financing of the project. On December 21, last year, Johan A Mistiaen, World Bank’s acting country director, wrote a letter and assured the PAPS that the bank took their concerns seriously. “As you are aware, KeNHA is implementing this project on behalf of Kenya Government. We will work with KeNHA to ensure your complaints are addressed,” Mistiaen said in the letter. NLC acting chairperson Abigail Mbagaya said the commission was to complete property verification process last November but the assigned officers were recalled to complete the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) land acquisition process. “NLC and KeNHA officials will embark on completing the evaluation process this month and once this is done, PAPs will be issued with award letters,” Ms Mbagaya said.