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No title deeds for 13 Nairobi estates, reveals city Governor

Thursday, February 29th, 2024 05:20 | By
Nairobi Governor, Johnson Sakaja responds to questions from members of the Transport and Housing community of the Senate over the upgrading of houses in Nairobi on February 27. PHOTO/Kenna Claude
Nairobi Governor, Johnson Sakaja responds to questions from members of the Transport and Housing community of the Senate over the upgrading of houses in Nairobi on February 27. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

Nairobi county government lacks title deeds for 4000 acres of land spread across 23 estates across the city, Governor Johnson Sakaja disclosed.

Consequently, the Senate’s Roads, Housing and Transport Committee directed the him to stop the construction of affordable housing units in the affected estates.

The committee, chaired by Kiambu senator Karungo Wa Thang’wa, directed that the governor furnishes the committee with statements of rent collected by the County Government of Nairobi since 1985 for Ofafa Jericho, 1988 for Jericho Lumumba and 1990 for Ofafa Maringo Estates.

Sakaja said his government is not in possession of, or privy to, any agreement between Israel and Kenya for construction of estates through a Tenant Purchase Scheme.

Tenants of Jericho Estate had claimed that the houses were to belong to them after 25 years of tenancy, even though they did not avail the said agreement.

“Nairobi City County Government has earmarked all estates for redevelopment to provide additional housing for rental purpose and home ownership. This is in line with the government’s affordable housing agenda,” said Sakaja.

The governor said that the original plans for the estates were for the development of the social housing to cater for the low-income earners.

However, the new proposed redevelopment comprises 70 per cent affordable housing for low income earners and 30 per cent for high income earners due to a shortfall experienced in the high and middle income bracket as well.

Meanwhile, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna wants Senate to consider increasing the fine imposed on officials who snub committee meetings, saying that Sh500,000 fine is too little for top government or county officials.

Sifuna raised the concern after Thang’wa informed members that Sakaja had paid a fine of Sh500,000 for snubbing committee summons.
Bankers cheque

“The governor has showed up for today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting and I want to confirm that he paid the fine with a banker’s cheque,” Thang’wa said.

Sifuna stated: “It is not fair to tell this honourable committee that you had travelled out of the country on official duty but you cannot prioritise the work of the Senate where you sat as a senator some years ago. We need to enhance the fine in the Powers and Privilege Act which undergoing amendments.”

In November last year, Sakaja had been invited by the committee several times to respond to queries on the Nairobi Regeneration and Urban Renewal Programme, which is being undertaken by the county.

Sakaja was also expected to shed light on the progress of the construction of 40,000 housing units.
He, however, failed to honour the committee summon and instead wrote a letter to the committee through the county attorney explaining that he was out of the country on official duty.

Sifuna had raised the issue before the committee on behalf of the land owners and cited contempt by the Governor to honour the invitations for a whole year.

The committee was meeting with the chairpersons of residents’ associations on Ofafa Jericho, Jericho Lumumba, California and Ofafa Maringo estates earmarked for facelift.

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