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January 22, 2019

Mombasa listing grabbed plots, planning to raze illegal houses

County secretary Francis  oya, nominated MCA Milka Areba and residents at Bombo, Mombasa county, yesterday /BRIAN OTIENO
County secretary Francis  oya, nominated MCA Milka Areba and residents at Bombo, Mombasa county, yesterday /BRIAN OTIENO

Mombasa will publish sites of grabbed public land as it prepares to demolish illegal structures and ensure proper planning.

Mombasa has lately been hit by a wave of illegal development projects, prompting Governor Hassan Joho to order a probe into all approvals issued by county officers and other state agencies.

Haki Africa, a human rights lobby, has called for the demolition of more than 2,000 buildings in the county. It says they have encroached on beach access roads, public toilets and other public utilities.

Yesterday, county secretary Francis Thoya warned private developers against illegal and irregular constructions. He said many residents have been denied access to resources because of greed and that will not be tolerated.

“All those who have built houses on waterways and other public places be warned. When the government comes with bulldozers, do not blame us,” Thoya said in Bombo, Utange.

Residents had barricaded the Bamburi-Utange road in protest against a developer who closed the Utange-Kiembeni linkage. They lit bonfires. Motorists had to use alternative routes.

Bamburi MCA Robert Nyiro and his nominated counterpart Milka Areba said the road had remained blocked for four months.

“He [developer] claims the road passes through his land,” Areba said. The county government had been upgrading the road to improve the transport network.

“The county can’t use public resources to develop an access road to open up the area for development, and then an individual blocks it,” Areba warned. Thoya said documents show it is public property and must be opened.

“Physical Planning and Housing chief officer Jaffar Mosheh todzy will write to the developer, giving him 48 hours to open the road, otherwise, the county will open it,” he said.

He accused the developer of illegally subdividing the land.

“This road was blocked when this subdivision was being done. Lands chief officer Farah Abdi will also write to the individual revoking the subdivision. We must do all things in compliance with the law,” Thoya told the demonstrators.

Areba and Nyiro said the road will open the area for development once completed and urged residents to remain calm as they solve the problem.

The county has accused an investor building a beach hotel in Shanzu of blocking an access road. 

The National Environment Management Authority said the developer has not encroached on the beach but has illegally dumped 

unwanted sand.

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