•South B MCA Waithera Chege condemned the remarks, saying the name of the President was evoked in vain.
• Residents want the Nairobi government and other stakeholders to dismantle the structure under construction on the contested land.
President William Ruto's name has been dragged into the dispute over the ownership of a land in South B even as residents held demonstrations protesting against alleged grabbing.
Business came to a standstill for the better part of Tuesday morning in South B estate as residents protested against a private developer who allegedly took over the land.
Residents, who were joined by South B MCA Waithera Chege and former Starehe MP Charles Njagua, urged both the county and national governments to protect the land meant for the construction of the only market in the ward.
They lamented that justice was being delayed over the ownership of the contested land, registration number LR NO 209/12621.
“We have been selling our items by the roadside because we don’t have a market in South B. We need our President to save us from land grabbers,” resident Joseph Musyoka said.
“The government should fight for its people and this includes keeping off private developers from encroaching on public land," trader Monica Waithera said.
Last month, the developer, believed to be a sitting MP, caused an uproar after sending goons to demolish structures that were erected on the contested land.
What raised eyebrows, was that the demolition happened at night and an iron sheet fence erected around it.
Angry residents pulled down the fence.
However, the Star has established that on Monday a security officer came to the contested land, claiming to have been sent by President Ruto over the issue.
The security officer claimed that matters on the disputed land had been settled and belonged to the private developer.
However, MCA Chege condemned the remarks, saying the name of the President was being evoked in vain.
“Dragging the name of the President in such an illegal matter is utmost disrespect. You cannot come and threaten our people on their own land,” she said.
Waithera, who is also the deputy minority leader in the county assembly, said that the matter was before the county assembly of Nairobi, which has yet to start the probe.
"The matter will be deliberated and the verdict will be made on the ownership of the land. But I will not sit back and watch public land being taken by land grabbers," she said.
Ex-MP Njagua said leaders will ensure that the people will have the final say on the land.
He said he presented the land matter before Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
"Our president has a plan to construct more than 20 markets in Nairobi. We will not let a private developer take over the land," Njagua said.
The former MP said he will join President Ruto at a function in Meru and will explain the matter to him.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a letter dated September 19, 2023, had notified the Nairobi government of a probe pertaining the alleged land fraud.
The DCI requested the county to furnish them with copies of survey plans, minutes of allocation, beacon certificates, letter of allotment and any other information that may assist in their investigations.
Already, a petition is before county assembly planning and housing committee.
“That the modern market would benefit residents mostly by increasing employment opportunities, increasing quality of production, creating an environment for healthy competition and increasing consumer status,” the petition reads.
In the petition signed by more than 400 South B residents, the people are urging the Nairobi government and other stakeholders to dismantle the unauthorised structure under construction on the contested land.
The petition also wants City Hall to secure the disputed land and maintain its guardianship on behalf of the traders and the larger Nairobi community.
It also seeks the intervention of the National Land Commission and relevant organisations to provide the county with the necessary deed plans to facilitate the resolution of the dispute.