By MUTINDA MWANZIA
The City Council of Nairobi has locked horns with the Department of Defence (DoD) over a 400-hectare land worth Sh24 billion.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia has written to Attorney General Githu Muigai demanding that the council be compensated for the land in Embakasi, which was allocated to DoD in 1997.
Mr Kisia said the military had encroached on the council land leading to numerous discussions to negotiate its allocation.
"This culminated in the council issuing a letter of allotment where the 400 hectares of land were allocated to the department," said Kisia.
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He revealed that the military was required to pay the council Sh40 million for the land within 30 days after the allocation in November 7, 1997, failing which the offer would lapse.
"Though the military took physical possession of the said land, they neither formally accepted the offer nor paid the Sh40 million," said Kisia in a letter to the AG.
The letter has also been copied to PSs Joseph Kinyua (Finance), Karega Mutahi (Local Government), Nancy Kirui (Defence), and Commissioner of Lands Zablon Mabea.
Yesterday, Kisia said DoD should immediately pay the council market value of the land, adding that they were currently trespassers.
He put the current value of the land at Sh25 million per acre, which meant DoD therefore owed the council Sh24 billion.
Kisia said the council had a total of 1,246 hectares in Embakasi out of which 400 hectares were allocated to the military.
"The military should also allow council surveyors to demarcate the land so that it can also dispose off the balance to individuals or Government agencies willing to purchase at the current market prices," said Kisia.
DoD Spokesman Bogita Ongeri confirmed receiving Kisia’s letter and said the matter was being handled by higher authorities.
At the same time, Kisia has written to the Chairman of the Committee on the Implementation of the Constitution, Charles Nyachae, over the status of Government and lead agencies that deal with infrastructure development.
The Town Clerk said the agencies that dealt with roads and water services within cities and municipalities had their functions, which were previously under councils, now placed under national and county governments.
"We want to know whether they are operating legally and seek guidance on the fate of the said institutions," said Kisia.
Among the agencies whose roles are being questioned include the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya Rural Roads Authority, water service boards and the Metropolitan Development ministry, all which are charged with infrastructure development within cities and municipalities.