Family saved from Westlands eviction in new style of land grabbing
A family in Nairobi’s Westlands was on Friday night rescued from a gang that had come to evict them, less than a week after an elderly couple’s house was demolished in the same area.
Ms Rakha Shah told the Sunday Nation that she received a phone call from a relative, Ms Faith Rakha, saying three men had raided her residence claiming ownership.
“I asked to talk to one of the intruders and asked him to bring documents to prove ownership of the property because I did not know him. He said he would bring a court order,” she said.
Mr Galmo Godana, a watchman at the property, told how the three men forced their way into the property, claiming they were policemen.
Ms Alice Nyabuto, a cook, said the three ordered her to leave immediately.
The men came to the house shortly after a truckful of Nairobi County Government askaris had left the residence with a warning that the family should leave as the property had changed hands.
According to Ms Shah, Friday’s raid was the third since August when strangers claimed ownership.
They returned in September and gave her a terse warning to leave, claiming they were agents of powerful people.
She said she at Spring Valley Police Station but no action has been taken.
“We tried to involve the police this time again but they told us they could not do anything as they were helpless,” she said.
“This is pure land grabbing. Don’t we have the right to live here? Is it because we are Indians? We have equal rights in this country. Why are the police not taking action?” she lamented.
The intruders were eventually forced out when Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko arrived with several youths and broke the padlock they had used to lock the gates. The senator promised to station youths at the property to protect the family.
The attack is part of a growing trend in which private developers are colluding with Ministry of Lands officials to create fake leases and lay ownership to property, especially that belonging to Asians in Westlands and Parklands.
Last Sunday, an elderly Asian couple was violently evicted from their house and the structure demolished by a developer claiming he owned the property.
The “new owners” claim that the leases had expired and dislodge the elderly owners. The Westlands couple that lost its house last week said they had been living on the quarter acre land valued at Sh80 million since 1972.
They said they learnt that the lease on the property on Jalaram Road next to Oval Place, expired in 2009.
And without their knowledge, an entity known as Franc Logistics obtained a title deed.
The survey plan was issued in 2015.
It was then that the family of Ms Parin Kurji, who is the head of biometry at the University of Nairobi, lodged a complaint with the National Land Commission. Ms Parin, 70, and her husband said the claimants are con men.