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Lang’ata playground land grabber given 24 hours to vacate

20 January 2015, 13:27 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery has issued a 24-hour ultimatum for the private developer claiming the ownership of Lang’ata Primary School playground to vacate.

Nkaissery insisted that the disputed land belongs to the school and warned the private developer that the government will destroy his construction materials if he does not vacate by Wednesday.

“I am giving the developer 24 hours to collect all his construction materials failure to which the government will clear them away. This land belongs to the school,” said Nkaissery.

The developer had constructed a perimeter wall around the disputed playground which was partly demolished by children and activists during the Monday protest.

Read Also: GALLERY: Occupy Playground demo

He condemned the police act for using force by lobbying teargas at schoolchildren during the protest and warned that the officers involved will face the full force of law.

The move by the Anti-riot police officers to use tear gas on the pupils sparked both national and international outcry where the officers were strongly condemned of using force against minors.

The use of force by the police, particularly against the harmless children led to the suspension of Lang’ata OCPD, Mwangi Kuria, who deployed the officers to disperse protesters.

Read Also: Nairobi Governor Kidero under fire over Langata land grab

It was reported that six pupils were injured during the protest and taken to Lang’ata Hospital where they are undergoing treatment.

However, Lands Cabinet Secretary, Charity Ngilu and the Chair of National Lands Commission, Muhammed Swazuri who spoke in Mombasa following the violent #OccupyPlayground protest, promised to ensure the disputed land is returned to the school.

Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero, who also condemned the police officers’ action, assured of his government's commitment to protect the integrity of both business owners and the public.

“I am ordering all Police presence be withdrawn, as there is no injunction or court order to the effect that Police be present. The dispute arising is being addressed in a humane and non-violent way. The use of violence cannot be justified in resolving this matter,” said Kidero.

He added that neither he nor Nairobi County residents believed that the disputed Lang’ata Primary School land needed to degenerate to the witnessed level of violence.

Kidero further warned the public to refrain from inciting children in seeking resolutions to disputes.

“I would like to request the public to refrain from inciting children in a bid to seek answers to the dispute. I would also like to urge parents not to expose their children to violence and or harm as has arisen from the scene,” said Kidero.

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