Former Nairobi Governor Mke Sonko has vowed to defend Nairobi residents against land grabbers in a move synonymous his explosive mechanisms that he employed to tackle the vice during his stint Governor.
In a video on his social media pages, Sonko promised to ensure that a developer who moved into an elderly man’s family residence in Nairobi’s Lavington and started fencing off part of the land is stopped and the residence returned to its owners.
Sonko was reacting to a video that was released by human rights activist Bonface Mwangi in which police officers are seen arresting a man of Asian decent, in his 70’s, allegedly for the charge of ‘unlawful detain’.
In the video, the man was arrested and driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters. However, in a shocking turn of events, minutes after police made the arrest, unknown people broke into the compound and started fencing part of their family land claiming ownership of the parcel of land as the owner of the land was still behind the bars in police custody.
My name is Sarika, and I have lived here my whole life. I am now 27, this morning my parents were picked up outside my gate by cops, and a few hours later, people came in and started breaking the gate and digging holes to mark a fence,” the man’s daughter told activist Boniface Mwangi.
The video shows gentlemen dressed in Muslim attire and other men patrolling the compound with tools, iron sheets and poles digging the compound, ready to erect a fence.
Sonko has promised to ensure that the family finds justice noting that he will lead the destruction of the fence erected to subdivide the land.
Sonko during his stint as Governor led the demolition of buildings erected on grabbed land as well as stopping land grabbing attempts on private property.
“We had completely stopped this land grabbing nonsense but I see it is back. I have acquired a new phone with a great camera and I can assure you, we are back to defend Nairobians against oppression,” Sonko said.
“Tomorrow, that fence will be down and that person who has fenced must be arrested. Even the police who carried out the arrest should be investigated and if they have been compromised to arrest the man and allow land grabbers to take over his land, they too should be arrested and charged,” he added.
According to the family, the family has lived on the parcel of land for nearly 30 years and it is their home. They wondered why the land was only fenced off after the highly dramatized arrest of their elderly father.
Land grabbing has been an eyesore for Nairobi residents living in high end estates in Nairobi. In the past, Sonko came to the rescue of a woman who had her house grabbed in Westands and a private developer was in the process of bringing down the house in readiness to build a multi-storey commercial building before the then Governor, Sonko came to the rescue of the elderly woman.