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South B residents asks Governor Sakaja help reclaim grabbed land

Residents of South B, a residential area in Nairobi,  have expressed their dissatisfaction over the slow trek towards justice in reclaiming a piece of land in the area that they maintain has been grabbed.

The residents took to the streets on February 24, 2024, with a demand to the Nairobi County government to speed up investigations into the matter.

Led by their Member of County Assembly Ms Waithera Chege, the residents protested peacefully at South Bshopping centre.

They demanded Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja intervene to arrest the situation.

The land in question has been a bone of contention between the residents and the private developer who wanted to build a shopping mall, though the county has confirmed that it is public land.

Some of the traders who joined the protest claimed that since Governor Sakaja took office, he has remained silent on the matter, even as they continue to risk their lives selling their wares along the roads.

“To be honest, the governor has never said a word on this land since he came into office. We have never seen him coming to seek our attention even one day here and know what is happening on the ground,” one of the traders said.

They have asked the governor to visit South B Centre and witness how the traders risk their lives in the evening on a busy road to make a living.

Ms Waithera was praised by the traders for standing with them from day one to protect their land.

According to submissions made by the County Land’s CEC to the Assembly Committee on Lands last year, the South B land is public land.

Despite this clarity, the county has yet to claim ownership of the land, raising eyebrows among the residents.

“As hustlers, we are tied and we need our market here. We are asking Governor Sakaja to come and declare his support just as the MCA who has been with us for a long time,” Jackline Gechoro, who is a trader in South B said.

Michael Njoro said that constructing a market in South B will provide employment opportunities for the youth who are jobless and engaging in crimes.

The South B shopping centre Chairman Mr James Maina accused some of the police officers of taking sides in protecting the land which has been declared as public land by the county.

“We don’t want to fight with the police officer, what we want is our market. We want each trader to have his or her slot of selling the commodities,” Mr Maina said.

Recently, Governor Sakaja said that there are over 600 parcels of land that belong to the public but are illegally in the lands of land grabbers.

The governor put on notice land grabbers, saying that every piece of land that was grabbed would be reclaimed, and used to construct public facilities such as schools and markets.

In his recent address, the governor said that he would construct 20 new modern markets in this term.

The South B land is linked to one of Kiambu County’s sitting MPS, whom residents have vowed to keep out of the area.

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