Ownership disputes slow down Nyeri Town's growth

Kiuma Thingira wa Wonjoria building within Nyeri Town which houses several businesses within its fabricated storied structure along Kimathi way, April 22, 2024. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Governor Mutahi Kahiga has blamed property ownership wrangles for the slow pace of development in the county's major towns.

Speaking during the opening of Nyaatha Plaza a Catholic-owned business building, Kahiga said some buildings in town are owned by more than one party.

This, he said, means that they could not be renovated or sold for expansion hence holding back development.

“The county government cannot force people to invest but can only assist them with registration and planning,” Kahiga said.

He added that the county government will release a circular to building owners to repaint and renovate old buildings within Nyeri town.

“Those business owners with dilapidated houses in the town are not that they don’t have money to renovate but some of them have wrangles which hold them from moving on, we ask them to wake themselves up and ensure they are back on their feet,” he noted.

Similarly, he said that some buildings are also on sale to allow new investors noting that some buildings within the town are too old and need renovation. 

He appreciated the Catholic Church led by archbishop Antony Muheria for the noble idea of building a seven-story building in the middle of the town offering a new look.

“We are used to the rectangular building but Nyaatha is magnificent with a new shape,” Kahiga said.

At the same time, he said that the county government will support investors by giving them a good business environment.

Kahiga said that the county government will extend car parking to Gatitu Kamakwa and Kingongo among other areas.

Nyeri Catholic archbishop Antony Muheria said the building cost more than Sh240 million and was constructed in under two years, offering both commercial and residential spaces.

“This building is meant to remind us about sister Irene Nyaatha who came to work and dedicated her life to those who were sick and were dying a sign of mercy, the Christians put together the little that they had to build the building, and this building is about mercy,” Muheria said.

Others who attended included the deputy governor David Kinaniri, Nyeri town MP Duncan Mathenge, Archbishop Hubertus Methus Maria Van Megen apostolical Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan among other priests and catholic faithful.