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Fire station land has not been grabbed, says City Hall

City Hall has denied allocating part of Nairobi Fire Service headquarters land to a private firm.

The problem started two weeks ago when Rawi Group of Companies officials went to survey the site.

They had a letter from the county government granting them authority to use the open space in the fire station. The company said it wanted to build kiosks.

The letter was signed by Chief Lands Officer SG Mwangi on behalf of the county secretary.

Firefighters, through Kenya National Fire Brigades Association, said allowing the company to put up kiosks in the open spaces would hamper their operations.

They said they also offer emergency services from site that is on Tom Mboya Street.

“Mr Mwangi says the letter in his name okaying temporary usage of fire station land was a forgery,” read a tweet from the Consumer Federation of Kenya last week in response to the story carried by the Nation.

Lands, Housing and Physical Planning Executive Tom Odongo denied that the land has been allocated to a private firm.

He told journalists in his office last week that the people seen at the fire station were City Hall officials who had gone to survey the property for renovation.

“This is one of the projects funded by the World Bank at roughly Sh300 million. It will improve the efficiency of the firefighters,” he said.

But the association’s Secretary-General, Mr Omolo Liech, raised doubts about the project.

“It is not the first time Rawi is claiming the right to use the land,” he said.

In 2009, the company sent people there and said the defunct Nairobi City Council had allowed it to build kiosks in the open spaces.

However, Local Government Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi backed the firefighters, saying such developments could not be allowed at the station.

“We are concerned because this is how Kenya Bus Station garage in Eastleigh was grabbed by a company that began by building temporary kiosks there,” he said.