Repossess grabbed public lands, Kaloleni residents tell Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero (PHOTO DENNIS ONYANGO)

Residents of Kaloleni want the county government to rein in individuals grabbing public utility land.

The residents said they had petitioned Governor Evans Kidero to take action on the alleged grabbers but no action has been taken.

"We complained to the county government when we started seeing constructions coming up on our playing grounds, but nothing was done. Today there are no open grounds for children to play on," said Ezra Olack, Chairman of Kaloleni Estate Residents Association.

According to Mr Olack, the illegal structures were to be demolished and all tenants to evacuated.

He said county officials visited the area recently and marked all buildings constructed on the public play grounds. They also issued the 'owners' with a seven-day notice.

"The notice was issued starting December 18, 2014 yet we have not seen any action from the county government. Construction work is still ongoing," he said.

When The Standard visited the area yesterday, builders were still working on some structures. Tenants are also still living in the buildings, while others had 'To Let' signs.

Task force

The owners have even erased markings from the buildings, some using cement to cover the X mark.

Peter Kibue, a resident of Kaloleni said the grabbed plots were set aside for a secondary school, technical institute and a play ground. Adjacent land has already been used for a primary school.

"When did public land become private? Was the change of ownership even advertised? This is pure impunity, and the county government should rescue us from grabbers of public land," said Kibue.

The residents want a task force formed by Governor Kidero to establish whether building permits were issued to the current owners.

Lands Executive Tom Odongo said he was aware of the Kaloleni play ground issue and promised to act.

"My office authorised the markings of those buildings and even issued the notice. However, an operation of demolition has to be planned," said the executive. "We will not give warning on the day we will carry out the demolitions. But I assure you it will be done," said Odongo.