BRAZEN, UNBEATEN

NMS General Badi coming for school land grabbers

Pledges to reclaim stolen public school land and have titles issued as soon as possible

In Summary

• Badi called land grabbing persistent and grabbers 'unbeaten' but said NMS 'will act swiftly and get hold of land grabbers'. 

• Most public schools have no title deeds and Badi promised to address the problem swiftly. Nairobi has 2,005 public primary schools, 95 secondary schools.

Nairobi Metroplitan Services director general Mohammed Badi at City Hall on February 16.
SAVE SCHOOLS: Nairobi Metroplitan Services director general Mohammed Badi at City Hall on February 16.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Major General Mohammed Badi of NMS is gunning for land grabbers of public schools.

And he said 283 schools will receive title deeds as soon as possible. Most lack deeds as proof of ownership.

MCAs have complained most public schools lack title deeds, so property risks falling prey to land grabbers and private developers.

NMS director-general Badi on Tuesday acknowledged land grabbing is persistent despite verbal warnings.

“Land issues in Nairobi appear to be unbeaten but NMS will act swiftly and get hold of the land grabbers. Our children deserve to learn without fear of their school land being taken by grabbers,” he said.

Nairobi county has 2,005 public primary schools, 95 secondary schools.

Badi said NMS will work closely with the county government to ensure schools get genuine title deeds as soon as possible.

"It's only at NMS where efficiency meets effectiveness. And we will act swiftly and all schools will have genuine title deeds," he emphasised.

Headteachers have also complained about insecurity.

Jackson Gichuguma, a member of the Governor's Bursary Oversight Committee, warned that if the county fails to act immediately, most schools will be left without playgrounds. 

“Headteachers are even forced to hire goons to keep off land grabbers. We cannot continue to work like this and we know the schools are public property,” he said.

Badi said he will ensure security is a priority and NMS will look into the problem

The lack of title deeds has been highlighted over the years but not much has been done.

In January 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Lands and the county government to issue title deeds to all schools in the names of school committees and boards of governors. He told city leaders, including MCAS, to report stolen land.

“If you are an MCA and you know there is public land that has been grabbed, inform us so appropriate action can be taken to ensure justice has been done,” the President said.

In August 2018 a report titled 'Status of School Land for Primary and Secondary Schools in Nairobi County' called the title issue a major challenge.

It recommended the Nairobi county government, the National Land Commission and the Ministry of Lands to fast-track the process.

“All cases of encroachment should be addressed and concluded and title deeds issued,” the report reads.

Of the 95 secondary schools, only 44 have title deeds or have reported their title deeds being in the custody of their sponsors.

The report said most public primary schools do not have title deeds.

Those listed as lacking title deeds include Ruaraka High School, Precious Blood, Nembu Girls, Dagoretti High, Kabete Vet Lab, St Ann’s Girls and High Ridge Secondary.

Primary schools without title deeds include Ayany in Kibera and Bahati and Buru Buru in Eastlands.

The report said some Catholic Church-sponsored institutions have double titles, do not have titles or have titles not in the name of the sponsor.

The report prompted President Kenyatta to direct title deeds be issued to all education institutions built and managed by faith-based organisations, including the Catholic Church.

“I have prioritised the titling of primary and secondary schools built by the church and other faith-based institutions,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)