What you need to know:
- KR said it is planning to reclaim the parcel because it was not converted from public to private use as per the law.
- The Neno establishment plans to build a multi-storey building dubbed Neno Tower.
- Mr Ng’ang’a promised dire consequences against anyone who dares displace the church.
Neno Evangelism Centre leader James Ng’ang’a on Sunday announced that he is ready to fight tooth and nail with Kenya Railways (KR) to retain ownership of the land where his main church in Nairobi stands.
The controversial pastor scoffed at a letter from Kenya Railways Corporation Managing Director Philip Mainga claiming that the church on Haile Selassie Avenue stands on property meant for the agency.
In the letter he wrote on Friday, Mr Mainga notified the Neno church founder that the corporation is planning to reclaim the parcel because it was not converted from public to private use as per the law.
RESERVED FOR RAILWAY
“(The church) encroaches on land initially reserved for railway use,” said the letter which explained that the tract of land was initially reserved for Kenya Railways.
A number of other businesses, including churches and petrol stations, are also located on the mentioned section.
Mr Mainga demanded that Mr Ng’ang’a surrenders to Kenya Railways all the documents pertaining to the “irregular” allocation of the property.
The notification from the railways boss comes at a time when the Neno establishment plans to build a multi-storey building dubbed Neno Tower in the place where the current structure stands.
Already, the congregants have started contributing for the ground-breaking of the tower, which will have basement parking lots among other features.
BOUGHT FROM CBK
While addressing the congregants during a televised sermon on Sunday, Mr Ng’ang’a was categorical that Neno bought the property from the Central Bank of Kenya.
“The owner of this field had a bank that borrowed money from the Central Bank. The bank went under and Central Bank seized its property which it sold to get money to pay back [the] depositors,” he said.
In his characteristic tough-talking style, Mr Ng’ang’a promised dire consequences against anyone who dares displace the church, which has been at the current location since 2003.
“You can go and change (the registration documents) if you are man enough,” he dared. “Go and backdate and say it belongs to the Railways.”
He further threatened: “I swear before God, hutabakisha hata mjukuu duniani hapa (you won’t even have a grandchild left on the face of the earth).”
“Will I keep issuing blessings? We also curse. It is inconceivable that people wake up to joke with a man of God. Which God are you playing with?”
Kenya Railways says it is seeking to reclaim its properties across the country, working in partnership with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Assets Recovery Agency.
The reclamation has already happened in Kisumu, the result being the eviction of dozens of businesses and demolition of a number of structures on Kenya Railways land.