NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Rampant land grabbing of public schools land in Embakasi Central has elicited anger among the residents of the constituency and the area legislator John Ndirangu.
Ndirangu has specifically singled out Mwangaza Secondary school and Bondeni Primary school where huge chunks of land has been grabbed and developed.
He says despite numerous attempts to get help from the County Government, he is yet to get a response over the matter.
“The president has directed (that public schools be issued with title deeds) but what action has been made?” he posed. “Nothing… we are his agent on the ground. You can see people are doing new developments instead of demolishing. We will do whatever we can to recover this land.”
Bondeni Primary School has been worst hit with apartments and a private school built within the playing ground.
Efforts by school pupils to bring down a section of the wall erected on their playing ground were stopped by the MP who said he will find a private surveyor to determine the exact land of the school.
“I will fight until all that is built on the school ground is removed and we maintain the school compound the way it was originally as surveyed by the County Council of Nairobi,” he said.
He cautioned that if the county government acts sluggishly, “I will use the masses here to demolish all these structures here.”
Even before the MP had finished his briefing, some of the owners of the ear marked buildings started trickling in to the school playing ground.
“It is good we follow justice…we can finish these issues without causing a lot of problem,” an elderly man told the legislator.
One of the owners Patrick Gichuki who was visibly shaken after students started chanting ‘Haki Yetu’ slogans told journalists he was given the land by the defunct County Council of Nairobi together with three others who have constructed on the land.
Gichuki said he occupied the land in 1983 after acquiring it from the then area councillor together with three other developers.
“All this area was called purpose land…the school was given the same way we were given by the city council,” he said.
He claimed already a title deed was being processed for his plot which he has erected a five storey building.
“I don’t know why we are arguing on this matter…the school was given their portion the same time I acquired mine,” he said. “It is the MP who wants to bring issues…I will go to the County Government to take my grievances.”
He went ahead to show journalists adjacent plots of former senior county council officials on the school playing ground.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has since issued a directive that all public schools be issued with a title deed, a move Ndirangu says is yet to be effected.
He claims already most public school land has been grabbed and unless surveyors are called to determine their exact size, the directive will not be effective.
On January 22, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Lands and the Nairobi County Government to issue title deeds to all schools in the name of school committees and boards of governors.
He asked leaders, including Members of County Assembly (MCA), to report to the authorities land stolen in their areas