• Prospective homeowners claim vehicles bringing construction materials are charged entrance fees.
• Workers and tenants are forced to buy Sh500 stickers for motorbikes and vehicles, renewable every month.
A criminal gang is allegedly harassing and extorting money from prospective homeowners at Murema estate in Juja.
Owners of undeveloped plots accuse those already settled of hiring the Mungiki to man the entrance of the estate and extort Sh1,500 per lorryful of building materials.
They claimed that their settled neighbours had fenced off the estate and erected a gate where all vehicles bringing stones and sand are charged entrance fees.
The estate has more than 3,000 undeveloped plots.
“They have made our lives hard. I purchased my plot without their help and my title is freehold. This estate is not controlled. But I cannot develop my plot because whenever I bring in construction materials, the vehicles are forced to part with not less than Sh1,500 to be allowed entry. This is extortion and we won’t allow it,” John King'ori said.
Those who have built homes call themselves the 'executive'. They are said to be sharing the "extortion" money with local administrators.
The prospective homeowners complained that the administration had exacerbated the situation instead of solving it.
“We are aware that they hired Mungiki to be collecting money from us under the guise of securing the estate. It’s sad that motorbikes and cars are forced to pay not less than Sh200 when entering the estate despite the fact that the owners are residents or own plots in the estate,” John Mwangi said.
Mwangi said that workers and tenants are forced to buy Sh500 stickers for motorbikes and vehicles. The stickers must be renewed every month.
“We should be let to develop our plots without harassment,” he said.
Veronica Muchori said their efforts to form a Nyumba Kumi have been frustrated by the ‘executive’ in collusion with the administrators.
The settled homeowners declined to talk to the press.
Juja assistant County Commissioner Rachael Muiruri said a meeting will be convened to find a solution to the complaints.