Anxiety has gripped residents of some gated communities in Langata after the Ministry of Environment announced plans to carry out evictions in a bid to reclaim sections of Ngong Forest which had fallen into the hands of land grabbers. The evictions are set to affect residents of Sunvalley Estate Phases 1-3, Forest View, Langata Place, Langata View Apartments, St Mary’s Apartments, KMA Langata, Shalom Estate, Royal Park Estate among others. The estates are said to have been built on Ngong Forest land.
The homes are said to be retirement savings to many of the owners who are now likely to default on mortgage payments. The residents raised concern over the plans, insisting that the titles were issued legally by the government even as rangers from the KFS visited some of the estates to urge them to leave soon.
The Chairman of Sunvalley Estate Residents Association Mr. Frederick Majimbo, while speaking to Citizen TV on 26th June 2020, said that efforts to solve the matter amicably had borne no fruit. ”We have gone to the National Lands Commission we are told that there is no issue. Therefore, if we have no issues with the Ministry of Lands and the National Lands Commission, then why is the KFC threatening us?”
The matter has since been forwarded to the Senate Standing Commitee on Land and Natural Resources. Nominated Senator Getrude Musuruve highlighted the concerns of the affected residents before the committee, ”People certainly took loans, they went through due process and got title deeds. They pay even rates to the county government, and also the land rates.”
CS Tobiko said that the efforts to reclaim the illegally acquired land would commence immediately and urged the residents to comply or face the same fate as those who had settled in Mau Forest. ”If we dealt with the hot potato that was Mau forest which was many times more complicated and politically sensitive, this is a small thing”.
He reiterated that fencing off the land would begin in a couple of months following a directive by President Kenyatta to reclaim the forest land. ”His order is to forthwith move in and reclaim all areas of this forest other than the areas that were validly degazetted and lawfully excised for public purposes.
He went on to say,”all the other parcels of this forest, whether the people on them have title deeds or not, whether they have built houses and apartments or business structures on them or not, will have their titles revoked. The CS also said that the President had directed his ministry and the KFS to provide a connection between the forest and the Nairobi National Park to mitigate the pressure facing wildlife at the park.
”Once we have reclaimed the land, we shall fence it off using wildlife proof material and create a corridor that will open the entire area for wildlife.”