Reprieve for Lang’ata homeowners as House puts demolitions on hold

Lang’ata homeowners

Tinega Ong’ondi goes through a land sub-division map outside his house in Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata, Nairobi, on July 3. 

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Homeowners of a gated community in Lang’ata, whose houses were earmarked for demolition, can now breathe a sigh of relief, after Parliament recommended that the government should not move them.

The National Assembly Environment and Natural Resources Committee said in a report tabled in the House on Thursday that the occupants of the parcel of land have made substantial development in the land in a manner that cannot be restored in its original purpose.

“The committee resolves to caution the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to cease issuing threats to the residents, owners or proprietors of developments located within the 53.68 hectares as the law relating to declaration that a forest area shall cease to be a forest area with respect to the aforementioned area was followed,” reads the report in part.

“To this end, the committee observed that KMA Estate, Lang'ata Gardens Estate, Lang'ata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, and Forest Edge View Estate, Lang'ata Women Prison, the Police Dog Unit, Bomas of Kenya, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) are located on Forestland that has been substantially developed by the original allottee or third parties, in a manner that they cannot be restored to their original purpose,” further reads the report.

The committee, however, wants the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate the procedure of excising and allocating land from the Ngong Road Forest to private individuals.

The DCI, according to the report, should investigate all officers that substantively held the offices of the Commissioner of Lands, the Chief Conservator of Forests and the Commissioner of Prisons between the period of 1993 and 1998 with a view to prosecuting any person found culpable, where a criminal offence is established.

The committee, led by Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki, has asked residents and the government to enter into negotiations to reach an amicable solution for peaceful coexistence.

The committee observed that, the Ngong Road Forest land has since changed hands to third and fourth buyers, who may have innocently bought land from the original owners who acquired it before due process of degazettement was done

Area MP Nixon Korir presented the petition against the planned repossession of land on behalf of his constituents in June.

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