Pope hits at ‘faceless private developers’, condemns land grabbers

Residents of Kangemi slum welcome Pope Francis during his visit to Africa in Nairobi on November 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO |

Land injustices in the country should be put to an end, Pope Francis has said.

Addressing slum dwellers in Nairobi’s Kangemi estate on Friday, the Pope also condemned denial of basic services to the poor.

He touched on the problem of unjust distribution of land while at the same time, reprimanding ‘faceless private developers who grab even playgrounds where the children of the poor are supposed to recreate.’

He also condemned unbridled capitalism in his address, adding that he was aware of the problems facing the poor.

“The culture of poor neighbourhoods has positive values…each human being is more important than the god of money,” he said.

He said the suffering that the needy endure is caused by a greedy minority.

“Lack of access to infrastructure and basic services like hospitals, schools and in particular to safe drinking water are some of the problems facing the poor,” he said.

The pontiff called on all Christians to renew their missionary zeal.

“Let’s us together commit to ensure that every neighbourhood has roads, schools, squares...that all can enjoy the peace and security which they deserve,” he said.

In January this year, Langata Road Primary School staged a demonstration at the school after allegations that a private developer had grabbed their playground.

Suspended Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu then named four people she said were behind the school’s playground land grabbing but refused to disclose their identities.

during the protest, Five pupils and a police officer were injured after police used teargas to disperse the rioting school children and activists.

Land remains an emotive issue in the country since independence.