BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,17TH FEB,2022-Senate have fixed their eyes on the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) over allegations of illegal land evictions in Pumwani and Eastleigh areas that occurred last year.
Senate Devolution Committee led by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang is investigating allegations that the General Mohammed Badi-led entity has directly been involved in land grabbing by aiding illegal land evictions.
Of contention is the property belonging to Pumwani Staff quarters and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) where NMS evicted residents with private developers taking over ownership of the property.
“We are looking into allegation of serious criminality; we shall be calling all relevant stakeholders to shed light on this matter. If indeed it will be proven that these allegations are true it would be grossly unfortunate,” said Kajwang.
The devolution committee members who visited the two sites is investigating the two instance of alleged land grabbing following a statement intervention by Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga.
The private developers started building rental properties on the disputed parcel after the residents were evicted in June 2021.
Senators have turned their blazing guns on Gen Badi claiming that his entity has taken over management of the Nairobi City County to abet illegal grabbing of land in the devolved unit.
“It will be unfortunate that a distinguished military officer will be presiding over a criminal entity, a criminal cabal that goes around looking for vulnerable public land demolishing houses and allocating it to private developers,” the Homa Bay Senator stated.
The Senate team claimed NMS had transformed into criminal entity.
“It self-evident that senior government officials in NMS has participated in land grabbing. It appears that military force was used to grab land with military precision,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.
“We thought we are going to break cartels and criminal networks through NMS. We must let the President know that his darling NMS is slowly morphing into another mafia,”Kajwang said.
A visit at the site showed that a police station had since been turned to a garage. Pumwani Staff quarters had been turned to a parking station while private developers are already developing the grabbed NCWSC land.
“If NMS has morphed into a criminal enterprise it is time the President answer them. This scheme was executed dead in the night in the supervision of government officials. Mr President you cannot continue to sit pretty as public land is being grabbed,” Nandi Senator Aaron Cheruyoit noted.
Murkomen called for an audit of the NMS since 2020 when it took up management of the city county through transfer of key functions including land management.
“Eventually a serious commission of inquiry at the end of NMS must be done on the transfer of this functions,” he said.
The transfer of assets from National Government to County Government as well as transfer of the same to county corporations was cited as the loophole creating an avenue of land grabbing in the country.
“There is a big gap that senate needs to fill. As we speak today the MD of National Sewerage company tells us that their assets still are still under Nairobi City Council, that’s quite unfortunate. Doctors who work so hard for us are out in the cold because a few greedy people have been evicted and the land sold,” Kajwang stated.