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December 10, 2018

Sonko orders developer to leave land, allow youth to resume work

Shops and a garage that were demolished on a land next to Woodley estate yesterday /EZEKIEL AMING’A
Shops and a garage that were demolished on a land next to Woodley estate yesterday /EZEKIEL AMING’A

Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has ordered a private developer behind yesterday’s eviction of mechanics and business owners on Ngong Road to surrender the land.

Sonko said the documents developer Maurice Gitonga provided to claim ownership are fake.

“We have established that the documents he has are fake. I’m directing him to leave this place immediately and allow the youths who were working here to continue with their work,” Sonko said.

The directive was issued hours after more than 100 people, allegedly hired by the developer, invaded the place at 3am. They pulled down the structures in Jamhuri estate, Woodley ward.

They also destroyed items worth thousands of shillings.

The demolitions were carried out under tight security by more than 60 armed police officers from Kilimani, Muthangari, Riruta, Kibera and Karen stations.

Read: Ngong Road demolition: Garage, shop owners blame private developer

Those who carried out the demolitions smashed windows of vehicles that were in the garage as police officers pulled them out using breakdown vehicles.

Sonko called IG Joseph Boinnet to order the officers to leave.

When the Star visited the area at 9am, the structures had already been flattened and a corrugated iron sheet fence was being erected around the plot.

Lucas Ochieng, the owner of Ngangweya Auto Garage, said he lost more than Sh900,000 in the demolitions. “We have been working here since 1996 and no one has ever claimed ownership because it is a road reserve,” he said.

Ochieng, who had employed 70 mechanics, said in July a person only identified as Nyagah visited the place and asked them to vacate.

Businesswoman Everlyne Akoth, who operates M-Pesa and beauty shops, said she lost more than Sh150,000. She said she had just taken a Sh100,000 loan from a bank to restock her shop.

“This is unfair to us. If someone wanted this land, they should have at least issued a notice so we can remove our items,” Akoth said.

Woodley MCA Mwangi Njehia said the mechanics have been working on the plot for decades.

“How can someone, even if he owns the land, evict people in such a manner?”he asked.

More: Sonko warns developers as he leads demolitions on public land 

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