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Residents petition Uhuru, City Hall over 257-acre land dispute

By Josphat Thiongó | August 20th 2021

Mowlem MCA Benson Mwangi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Residents of a ward in Nairobi have petitioned Nairobi County Assembly and National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, to intervene in a dispute over a 257-acre parcel of land.

The piece of land is at the centre of a dispute between Mowlem Ward Residents Association, Sossian Five Quarters Association and Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Ltd in Nairobi.

Mowlem ward residents now want President Kenyatta to help them resolve the dispute following a spate of demolitions of their properties by a developer.

According to the petition tabled by Mowlem MCA Benson Mwangi, the land in dispute L.R.No.15400, consists of subdivided plots with certificates of titles issued by the government.

The petition says the plots were a grant to several private companies and developers in the area namely Cementers along Kangundo road (recently demolished), Emco billet (demolished), Akamba manufacturers (demolished), Coca-Cola bottlers (working under fear and threats), Steel Structures (partly demolished) Super Loaf Primary School (under threat) as well as Umoja III estate, G7, Kwa maji, Mungetho, PCMA Church (under threat).

The land row began in May 2018, after the National Land Commission, through a letter dated May 10, 2018, directed the Chief Land Registrar to revoke all the titles being subdivisions of L.R No.15400.

The Environment and Land Court later quashed the decision/letter by NLC through a judgement delivered on June 10, 2021. It further issued an order prohibiting NLC and the Chief Land Registrar from revoking the titles.

However, Kiambu Dandora Farmers Ltd used the May 10, 2018 letter to allege that they own the land (LR. No. 15400) and purporting to be owners of the aforesaid properties, have continued to try and sell off undeveloped properties.

To ensure genuine owners do not protect their vacant properties, adds the petition, any attempt by the genuine owners to develop their own properties even by erecting perimeter walls have been violently resisted by the said Kiambu Dandora Co. Ltd.

“The National Metropolitan Services, the County Government offices, machinery and officers have on several occasions been misused to invade the gated community at night and demolish perimeter walls and houses erected by genuine land owners. Two of such invasions and demolitions occurred on July 28,2021,” reads the petition in part.

“The said demolitions do not follow laid down procedures and are solely intended to aid Kiambu Dandora Farmers Co. Limited to assert their unfounded claim to undeveloped properties within the said gated community illegally."

The association also noted that it had made efforts to raise the matter with the area administration including the police but they have been unsuccessful as the authorities ignore them.

They are concerned that companies and residents continue to face harsh treatment from the administration and some companies have closed down and others are in the process of closing down.  

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