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Puzzle that is Lang’ata Primary land

City News

lang'ata primary

City Hall seems to be at the centre of the storm of the controversial Lang’ata Road Primary School playground.

Though the Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and National Lands Commission (NLC) Chairman Dr Mohamed Swazuri have firmly stated that the land belongs to the school, senior officials at City Hall claim the land belongs to Airport View Housing Limited.

On December 2, 2014, Governor Evans Kidero who implied that the land belongs to the school, allegedly received a memo sent by a senior officer in the Lands and Planning department showing the controversial land LR No. 209/12848 is private land.

Communication from the Lands Chief Officer Stephen Mwangi, copied to top officials at City Hall, stated in part: “It has been established that this is a private land, which borders Lang’ata Road Primary School and the school administration should be informed as such.”

The communication from Mwangi seems to corroborate the developer’s argument that they were allocated the four-hectare land (LR No. 209/11296 and LR No 209/12256) by the national government on October 4, 1989, on a leasehold tenure for a term of 99 years.

The LR No 209/11296 was purportedly amalgamated and sub-divided into three separate parcels.

The developer claims that Sh2.5 million was paid as stand premium, rent and other charges set out in the letter of allotment awarded to them in 1989 under the provisions of the Government Lands Act, CAP 280.

On March 15, 2011, Airport View Housing Limited, through Lesinko Njoroge Advocates threatened to take legal action against the school for purportedly encroachment and trespassing on its property. It is claimed that before the Lands Chief Officer wrote to Kidero in December last year, a business firm had allegedly expressed interest in the land to put up a multi-storey shopping mall and parking.

Vinemag Enterprises wrote to Lands and Planning Executive Officer Tom Odongo on November 7, 2014 seeking to establish the status of the land to allow them proceed with their development.

The communication read: “We have an interest in the development of this property, and before we submit our proposal to the county for approval, we would like to know if there is any dispute between the school next to it and the registered owners.”

The Nairobian has established that five days later, Lands Chief Officer allowed Vinemag Enterprises to proceed with their project because the land was not a school property.

A week after the developer indicated intent of a legal suit, the school board wrote to the Commissioner of Lands, the anti-graft body, City Hall and then Prime Minister Raila Odinga seeking their assistance on the ownership status of the land.

On December 11, 2014, the Urban Planning Department approved the construction of a perimeter wall, which was pulled down on January 19 after demonstrations by activists, the pupils, parents and Lang’ata residents.

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