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Pope condemns ‘private developers’ for land grab

Pope Francis has condemned land grabbing in Kenya during his address at a church in Kangemi estate in Nairobi.

The Pope excited the congregants and lit up social media when he specifically blamed “private developers” for grabbing land around the country.

“I am also aware of the serious problem posed by faceless “private developers” who hoard areas of land and even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your children’s schools,” he said amid ululation.

“This is what happens when we forget that ‘God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone’.”


Earlier this year, there was outrage when an unidentified private developer attempted to grab a playground belonging to the Langata Road Primary School near Weston Hotel in Langata.

Deputy President William Ruto later denied claims that Weston Hotel, in which he has interests, had attempted to grab the playground.

Later, suspended Lands minister Charity Ngilu said the person who laid claim to the piece of land was called a Mr Singh. But most Kenyans were unconvinced.


At Kangemi, the Pope said land grabbing are “wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries”.

“This becomes even worse when we see the unjust distribution of land (if not in this neighbourhood, certainly in others) which leads in many cases to entire families having to pay excessive and unfair rents for utterly unfit housing,” said Pope Francis.

Editor’s Note: This article contained an error where we referred to Pope Francis as Benedict.