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MP warns tycoons against grabbing slum land

01 August 2014, 16:14 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Ruaraka MP, Tom Kajwang has raised alarm over rising cases of land grabbing by business tycoons and vowed to recover all illegally acquired land in Nairobi.

Kajwang said a total of 17 MPs from Nairobi City County and neighboring constituencies have teamed up to identify the grabbed land and culprits behind the vice in an effort to protect both public and wetlands.

“Land grabbing is a major problem especially in Nairobi where serious businessmen target slum areas to grab land. We have set up a team of 17 MPs to stage an exercise of reclaiming irregularly acquired land,” said Kajwang.

“Those businessmen should know that nothing will happen to legally acquired land but for the illegally acquired, it will have to be reclaimed because the time for issuing threats against those fighting corruption is gone,” he added.

Kajwang was reacting to an incident where the Dagoretti North MP, Simba Arati was allegedly threatened with death for following up on a piece of land grabbed in his constituency by an Indian business tycoon, Mr. Shah, who attempted to shoot him when they confronted each other at the place.

Arati said he reported the incident at Muthangari Police Station under the OB number 36/11/2014, and that the matter is under investigation.

“Mr. Shah not only pulled his gun but also cocked it before he could shoot; there was intervention from his ally Mr. Patrick Musumba, the brother to former Member of Parliament for Westlands and my bodyguard,” said Arati.

Arati asserted that Shah had a long term dispute with Dagoretti North constituents even before being elected on the grounds that the land in question is a wetland.

“I have records that the dispute started even before I went to school. Environmentalists including the late Prof. Wangari Maathai had stopped construction on the disputed property,” stated Arati.

“I have also seen records to show that even NEMA has in the past put stay orders barring any construction on the disputed piece of land,” he added.

He also reiterated that his effort to reclaim the disputed land is a threat to his life alleging that Shah boasted of enjoying protection from senior government officials.

“Mr. Shah bragged to me that he knows and has the protection of the CID Director Mr. Muhoro, the Inspector General Mr. Kimaiyo, the DPP Mr. Tobiko and did indicate that indeed he is the President’s man and untouchable,” said Arati.

The Dagoretti North MP further said he visited Muhoro with his lawyer to confirm the allegations but the CID boss dismissed them as false.

“I now want to walk to the Inspector General and the DPP with my colleagues to establish the allegations by Mr. Shah,” he said.

However, Arati faulted the July 27, 2014 Sunday Nation newspaper article entitled, “MP accused of misusing gun to know his Fate” terming it as false, sensational with the intention of making money and misleading the public.

“The case of misuse of the gun is under investigation at the Muthangari Police Station and it is not about me but Mr. Shah. I am a complainant and not the suspect because I did complain of an attempt by Mr. Shah to kill me and these facts can be verified from the Police station where I reported the matter, OB number 36/11/2014,” explained Arati.

“I got to learn that Mr. Shah reported malicious damage of property by unknown people after he realised that he was being sought by police for attempting to kill me. This was an afterthought and his OB is 38/11/2014,

“I never threatened to shoot Mr. Shah. I have never held any gun or pistol in my entire life. I don’t posses any gun or pistol. On the contrary, Mr. Shah not only threatened to shoot but also attempted to shoot,” he added.

Moreover, Arati said it is the second time the newspaper published a damaging story against him, saying his demands for an apology and correction have not been met yet.

“This last weekend, the same paper again went ahead and published another false and damaging story on my character. What do my colleagues, members of the public and any right thinking member of the society make of me?” posed Arati.

The MPs plan to reclaim land grabbed by business tycoons in slums even as Governor Evans Kidero  vowed to recover about 60 to 70 acres of land for public schools grabbed by powerful individuals in Nairobi City County.

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