Residents of Nairobi estates set for demolition defy eviction order
Tenants of old buildings set for demolition to pave way for the development of new houses by Nairobi County Government have dared the developers to evict them.
The tenants from five estates namely, Jeevanjee, Bachelor Quarters, Pangani, Old and New Ngara said that the project will not start unless fresh negotiation start with the county government.
This comes a day after seven firms signed a contract worth Sh 60 billion in a joint venture agreement with City Hall on Monday to start the construction expected to last for 24 months.
Starehe MP Maina Kamanda threaten to lead a mass demonstration if the county does not hold fresh talks with the tenants.
Mr Kamanda said that the tenants should have been involved in the witnessing of the joint venture agreement with the contractors as they are stakeholders in the project.
“Nobody will come and start a construction in my constituency without us endorsing the project and making an agreement,” said Mr Kamanda.
Mr Kamanda said that the county did not show any goodwill during the negotiation when they started to threatening them with terminating their contracts and it was obvious that they want to benefit themselves from the project.
Mr Kamanda urged the residents to engage lawyers when fresh negotiations start to avoid being left homeless once the project is complete.
Jeevanjee resident association chairman Patrick Musau said that the last time the county engaged them in the project was in October 3,2015 when they met but disagreed on the compensation of the tenants.
According to Mr Musau, the county kept changing the narrative and did not want to commit in writing the agreement they made with the county.
“At first we would be given sweet words in boardroom meetings where no minutes were taken. Later they were informed us that those mere public participation forums,” said Mr Musau.
OTHER ESTATES TARGETED
He said that at first City Hall said it would build on the open spaces where tenants will move to the finished units and the old ones would be demolished. But later they were informed contractors had insisted that they would not work in an area with tenants.
Mr Musau said they have been getting information from the media that construction will begin next week leading to fear of imminent eviction of the residents.
The Ngara MCA Mwaura Chege said that they are not against the project but the lack of communication from City Hall has created fear among the tenants.
Other ageing estates targeted are Bahati, Mbotela, Ziwani, Makongeni, Kaloleni, Jericho and Shauri Moyo, which will be demolished and redeveloped to accommodate more home buyers.
Currently, the county government collects rent from 14,000 housing units.