Nairobi’s most expensive land parcels

What has triggered the land rush and epidemic of land grabs around Nairobi? The simple answer: money, and lots of it. A new property survey released Thursday in Nairobi gives prices per acre of key areas. It makes it clear why demand for prime land by private developers, institutional investors and others less savoury has pushed prices to astronomical levels, far beyond the reach of individual buyers.

The first Hass Nairobi Land Price Index shows the city’s prime spots have appreciated by 537 per cent over seven years. HassConsult Real Estate is a city real estate sales and analysis firm. Here’s the breakdown per acre, from most to least ‘expensive’ in potential commercial areas.

*Upperhill Sh470million (tops)

* Kilimani Sh371 million

* Westlands: Sh361.7  million

*Kileleshwa Sh250 million

*Lavington: Sh202 million

*Spring Valley Sh173 million

Per acre in high-end residential areas:

*Runda: Sh67 million (tops)

*Karen Sh45 million

*Lang’ata Sh45 million

“Land prices in the last four years have risen at twice the rate of cattle and four times the rate of property while oil and gold prices have fallen over the same period,” said Sakina Hassanali, head of research and marketing for HassConsult Real Estate. “The average price per acre was a little over Sh30 million in 2007, but is more than Sh170 million today,” she said during the release of the report.

Hassanali said the land index compared more than 10,000 land records to document the pricing tends in the nine suburbs where development has been intense. Individuals cannot afford prime land at the current cost and only a few of those with the money would purchase land at that cost just to put up a residence, she said.

Most corporates, including banks, UN bodies, multinationals, and hotel chains, are also seeking new addresses outside the central business district to avoid the congestion and high rents, thus pushing up demand in convenient areas. According to the report, an investment of Sh32 million in an acre of urban land in 2007 had multiplied to Sh173.7 million in 2014. The same amount would have translated to only Sh64.2 million if invested in property, Sh57.8 million in bonds and Sh29.2 million in equities.

St. Catherine’s school parents match over grabbed playground

About 200 parents from St Catherine Primary School in South B, Nairobi have marched to Ardhi House to protest against the grabbing of the school’s playground.

The parents walked the 5kms to Lands CS Charity Ngilu’s office on Wednesday, carrying placards with anti-land grabbing messages.

School representatives have been allowed to meet Ngilu.

The parents accused Nemka Commercial Agency, a private development company, of the land grabbing.

The company sued the school’s management for constructing swings on the property which it says it owns.

School sponsors led by Catholic nun Mary Killeen however said City Hall allocated the school seven acres of the land.

“City Hall gave us approvals to put up swings and level the playground since the land had been transferred to the school. But the grabbers want to take away the playground. I am a poor nun. I am in Kenya to help the poor and I have no other interests,” Killeen said.

Killeen said after the allocation and issuance of an allotment letter, a man identified as Simon Limo claimed to own four acres of the land.

Limo later sold the property to NSSF, which sold it to Nemka’s Nelson Mwangi Kamau and David Mburu Gibson, she said.

The playground was being used by the adjacent Mariakani Primary School.

The stand-off between the school and Nemka comes about a week after another by Lang’ata Road Primary School.

Parents, pupils and rights activists demonstrated against the grabbing of the school’s two-acre playground by a private developer.

Following the chaotic demo, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Lands ministry to issue schools with title deeds to prevent land grabbing.


Swazuri denies renewal of Kenyatta family lease on Taita Taveta land

The Kenyatta family lease on 30,000 hectares of land in Taita Taveta county has not been renewed, National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri has said.

“You people quoted me out of context. I did not even mention it last time. He (the reporter) asked me about Criticos and I mentioned it. I don’t know how that name (Kenyatta) came in,” Swazuri said on Monday.

He was speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa during a hearing on the review of grants and dispositions of public land.

“So far we have not received any application from the Kenyatta family for them to want their property renewed. We don’t even know whether it is expired or not. We don’t know anything,” he said.

Swazuri noted NLC follows a specific procedure when dealing with land issues. “When we get a case, we will not move to the land in question immediately,” he said.

He said the Land Registry must confirm the status of the property. “Even the grabbers do not just move to a piece of land first. They have to go through and falsify documents first before going to the ground,” he said.

Swazuri told governors that they can inform the commission of public land in their counties whose leases they do not want renewed. His alleged announcement last week of the renewal of the Kenyatta lease sparked protests from Cord. Cord leaders demanded its nullification and accused NLC of failing to deal with land issues.


Nakuru woman conned out of Sh2.7 million by property fraudsters

A woman lost Sh2.7 million to fraudulent land sellers in Nakuru town on Friday. The woman said she agreed to the deal for two plots belonging to Nakuru Teachers Co-operative Sacco because the title deeds looked genuine.

“It is only after the transaction through our lawyer that it emerged later that the sellers were not the owners of the plots” she said. She said the documents shown to her had been approved by the Lands office.

She told KNA that she reported the matter to the town’s Criminal Investigations Department. An officer confirmed that she did, adding that an investigation was underway.

The officer however said that the woman and her husband, fearing for their lives, refused to reveal their identities. He added that this would compromise the investigation.


Charity Ngilu names the owners of the disputed playground

Lands CS  Charity Ngilu has named the owners of the disputed land in Langata Road Primary school through her twitter account.

This is after activists and students protested on Tuesday and took down a perimeter fence that had been erected on the grabbed land.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Lands and the Nairobi County Government to issue title deeds to all schools in the name of school committees and boards of governors.

He asked leaders, including Members of County Assembly (MCA), to report to the authorities land stolen in their areas.

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

President Kenyatta spoke today when he launched   the construction of the Nairobi Eastern Missing Link roads at Nairobi’s Muratina Road/Gen. Waruinge Junction.





Traffic snarl up on Langata road as NYS demolish wall

Tens of National Youth Service personnel have landed at the Langata Road Primary school ground on Wednesday morning ready to level it and build a fence around it.

This follows an order from president Uhuru Kenyatta that the the field be leveled for the children to play.

The personnel arrived with tractors and started the work with a crowd watching from a distance.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery visited the school and offered a personal apology to the pupils who were tear-gassed by police during a demonstration to reclaim their playground from a developer.

He also declared that the land belongs to the school and gave the developer 24 hours to clear the construction material from the site. The land had been grabbed by a developer in the area which prompted protests by activists and the pupils.

Lands CS Charity Ngilu ordered the demolition of the old perimeter wall on Tuesday, and the construction of another demarcating the school.

The demonstrators destroyed part of it during the protest on Monday.

Motorists using Lang’ata road and Upperhill were forced to use alternative routes due to a traffic jam that built up since 5 a.m.

Nairobi traffic boss Edward Mwamburi said the activities at Lang’ata Road primary had attracted a crowd causing the jam .



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Ngilu denies claims that she was involved is land grabbing

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has distanced herself from claims by a section of CORD leaders that she is involved in the controversial grabbing of 134 acres in Karen, Nairobi. She also absolved Deputy President William Ruto, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, CID Director Muhoro Ndegwa, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and James Mbaluka from blame.

Cord has written to the anti-graft agency EACC, urging it to investigate public officials and politicians involved in the Sh8 billion Karen land scandal. Leaders of the coalition said none of the parties claiming ownership of the property have legal rights over it. The land is public property and should revert to the government, they added.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, five legislators, led by senators Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), also demanded the immediate resignation of Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu over the scam.

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Crafty Embu men hiring ‘wives’ to help sell family land

Men in Embu county are apparently hiring “wives’ so that they can sell family land, the Star Newspaper reports.

According to Embu North assistant commissioner Kamande Mbugua, quoted in the report, the men are doing this because to sell land, a man must be accompanied to the lands board by his wife.

So men are now resorting to hiring actors to pose as their wives for this purpose, without the knowledge of their rightful wives and family.

The Embu council of elders has condemned the practice.

Mbugua said the real wives and children only learn of the transactions when new owners of the property come to evict them.