County Commission allowed Mowlem structure demolitions
Geoffrey Mosoku and Alvin Mwangi
Nairobi County Commissioner ordered the night demolitions of structures along Kangundo Road in Nairobi, it has now emerged.
Official documents show that the administrator, Flora Mwora directed the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to carry out the exercise in a tussle between land owners and a phantom group claiming over 800 acres along Nairobi’s Eastlands area.
Demolitions were carried out in spite of several pending court cases with some landowners already having orders in their favour.
The dispute is between several land owners and a group calling itself Kiambu-Dandora Farmers Company Ltd (KFDCL) that claims 808 acres of what now stands Umoja, Kayole, Mowlem, Saika and Sosian estates.
A circular dated April 15 from Ms Mwora directed NMS to implement the demolitions.
“As you are aware, the land ownership tussle of the aforementioned has dragged on for long duration.
However, following resolutions of the outstanding issues, a multi agency committee under the eldership of Regional Commissioner, Nairobi Area Region, was constituted and tasked with the implementation of the agreed recommendations to enable finalise the matter.”
It adds; “During a special meeting held on January 10, 2021, Regional Security Intelligence Committee (RSIC) and Multi Agency Committee, it was agreed that NMS, National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) led by respective Sub-County Security Intelligence Committees (SCSIC), National Police Service, Ministry of Lands and Planning among others should collaborate and ensure strategies as captured in the matrix below are implemented.”
Mworia notes the purpose of the letter was to inform him of the resolutions and request NMS to provide officers from enforcement department to enable fast track the process.
Other than existing court orders, it has emerged that in 2020, police investigating the land dispute recommended that directors of Kiambu-Dandora Farmers Company Limited are charged with fraud.
On November 4, 2020, DCI officers in their report which was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji concluded that an offence of forgery was established.
The detectives said following their probe, there was a high likelihood that the group calling itself Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Limited does not exist and ‘if it exists it consists of persons who are after causing mayhem in the disputed area with a view of exploiting and harassing bonafide purchasers of the land and developers.’
“On record, we have a letter from the NLC Ref NLC/CF79101 dated January 2019 that suspended the implementation that held title LR 11379/3 directing the Chief Land Registrar to revoke other titles.
So in essence the titles that the claimants have are valid and the group referring itself as Kiambu Dandora Farmers Company Limited should not rely on it to evict deserving developers,” the letter by A.S Omuga to Haji reads in part.
It adds; “Based on the above observations that I recommend that Abdullahi Muigai Muiruri, Joseph Mwangi Karanja and Peter Karumbi Keingati who present themselves as officials of the company be charged with malicious damage following demolitions and destructions that were done in April 2020.”
Among those affected is a major contractor who says he lost over Sh800 million worthy property after NMS descended on his four-acre construction yard, demolished walls, offices, equipment
One of the affected companies, Cementers Ltd had obtained a court order under NRB CMCC No. 690 of 2020 barring the Kiambu-Dandora Farmers Company from interfering with its property.
The same orders were served to Police in Buruburu, Mowlem police post and Deputy County Commissioners for Embakasi West and Dandora.
Senior Principal Magistrate D. W. Mburu had restrained the company from interfering with the property while directing police officer in charge of Mowlem Police Post to ensure compliance in his orders dated October 16, 2020.
Yesterday, a section of residents from Mowlem ward in Embakasi West Constituency called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help to resolve the dispute.
In a petition presented at the Nairobi County Assembly by the area MCA Benson Mwangi, the agitated residents claimed some forces in the government have been trying to grab their land.
“It is absurd that President Uhuru Kenyatta can launch businesses and projects at night while ours are destroyed. These people never gave us any notice.
I came in the morning only to find my shop demolished,” said Alice Njoki, a shopkeeper in Umoja Three.
Godowns, construction materials and plants valued at millions of shillings were all destroyed in the early morning demolition.
The traders who said they had been operating at the yard for more than ten years claimed there was no prior notice to the demolitions, which caught them off guard.
The affected land lies between the raiway line and Kangundo Road.