A section of Lang?ata Road Primary School pupils protest alleged grabbing of their playground by a private developer on Monday in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/ STANDARD
A section of Lang?ata Road Primary School pupils protest alleged grabbing of their playground by a private developer on Monday in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/ STANDARD

Airport View Housing Ltd, through lawyer William Ochanda, maintain they have done nothing wrong and want a stop to further interference on property they say documents prove was rightly acquired.

Langata Road Primary School was earlier this week the scene of ugly skirmishes that saw the teargassing of pupils as they joined civil activists to protest the alleged grabbing of their playground.

A section of Lang?ata Road Primary School pupils protest alleged grabbing of their playground by a private developer on Monday in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/ STANDARD
A section of Lang?ata Road Primary School pupils protest alleged grabbing of their playground by a private developer on Monday in Nairobi. PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/ STANDARD

Both the Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and National Lands Commission Chair Muhammad Swazuri, have maintained that the land in dispute belongs to the school.

Ngilu has also named Mandip Singh Amrit, Manjit Singh Amrit, Harbans Singh Amrit and Kamal Prakash Amrit as the owners of Airport View Housing Ltd ? the company linked to the controversial acquisition of the land.

Documents in possession of The Standard on Saturday show correspondence between the company and the then Nairobi City Council and Lands Commissioner dating back to the 1990?s, which Ochanda says reinforces their stand on the matter.

A letter dated January 14, from the Nairobi County Government to the National Land Commission seeking investigations into the alleged land grabbing at the school ?to determine the true status of the land?, says records available show the piece of land LR NO 209/7996 is a County property allocated by the Government to the defunct City Council of Nairobi.

The land was surveyed in 1972 with the area registered as approximately 2.226 hectares.

Rate records at the County show that the land is still under Commissioner of Lands and all inspection of the school indicates the institution boundaries exist as per this survey.
The survey for this land, according to the letter, was carried out as per the Commissioner of Lands letter Ref 30468/1X/33 dated 2 September 1970 and was approved and registered as FR No. 124/31.

This was authenticated on 30 August 1972 by the Director of Surveys.
The letter further states that on the disputed land, LR NO 209/12848, records show it came into existence as a result of amalgamation of two parcels- LR NO 209/12256 and LR NO 209/11296/100.

LR No 209/12256 is said to have been a grant to Airport View Housing LTD of 16 Dec 1994, while LR NO 209/11296/100 resulted from the sub division of LR NO 11296, which was part of the existing Airport View Estate.

The title for the disputed land LR NO 209/12848 was registered on September 22, 2000 in the name of Airport View Housing Ltd of P.O Box 45403, Nairobi. LR No 209/11296, on the other hand, was issued a letter of allotment Ref No 24083/XI/227, dated 4 October 1989 in the name of M/S Airport View Housing Ltd P.O Box 45403 Nairobi, by the Commissioner of Lands.

The land said to have been a grant to the housing company, LR?NO 209/12256, is according to records, a result from the Commissioner of Lands letter Ref No107100/72 of 6 September 1995, issued by the Lands Commissioner.

From the available documentation it is clear that surveys for the properties were done at different times and are not related.
According to the documents the amalgamation and subdivision schemes on LR 209/11296 and 209/12256 was approved by a Nairobi City Council Town Planning Committee held on 11 September 1992 and the Commissioner of Lands via a provisional approval letter ref 107100/30 dated 15 February 1995 and subsequent amendment letter ref 107100/62 dated 6 September 1995.

Another letter from the Nairobi City Council dated May 5, 1999 to a Mr Harbans Singh, of Harbans Consult makes reference to Plot NO LR 209/11297 and LR 209/11256. It states; ?Out of an earlier communication between Mr J.Gill of your office and my officers, we were able to get ownership documents indicating the referred plot is owned by Airport View Housing Ltd . The same message has been communicated to the Director of Education , Nairobi City Council.?

The letter is signed by an Engineer CM Chiuri.

While hesitant to talk much about the issue, which he says is now in court, Ochanda maintains the land, which was allocated to the school in 1972, is still intact. it is not the land in dispute.

?The mother title on which Airport View Housing stands is not in dispute and there was no ?empty? space between the school and Airport View Housing premises. The wall was erected at the border between the two to separate the school from the housing premises,? he says.

Meanwhile, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has rejected the list released by Ngilu on the ?purpoted owners of the company that has allegedely grabbed the school?s land.

The party, while addressing journalists at Orange House, demanded that Weston Hotel be demolished as its built on property that belongs to the Kenya Airports Authority.

?The initial reluctance by the relevant State agencies to intervene and the alarming massive deployment of police at the said property, all points to involvement of people in high places,? said Secretary General Ababu Namwamba.

He said it was regrettable that the Government was unable to expose people who have demonstrated high appetite for land, seizing every opportunity to acquire available land.

?There is every indication that the Singhs are no more than a decoy deployed to hoodwink the public. We hold this as a cynical insult to the intelligence of Kenyans,? he said.

By Lilian Aluanga-Delvaux and Mwaniki Munuhe, The Standard

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