The government has been asked to surcharge the officers who approve buildings on road reserves or public land by making them compensate the investors to end the perennial demolitions of innocent citizens’ investments.
The Chairman of People’s Watch Lobby Group in Nakuru County, Jesse Karanja said the numerous demolitions of buildings was casting the government in a negative manner since the feeling of the public was that a fellow citizen was hurting, hence empathy.
He said the process of purchasing land in the country was tedious and it requires involvement of lawyers, land officials, and surveyors, who in most cases happen to be employees of the government.
However, he said when it comes to demolitions, it appears that the officials are left off-the-hook and the investors get punished alone. Yet, the legally authorized people ought to have stopped the construction of buildings or better still the purchasing of the land.
Giving an example of the recent demolitions of many buildings in Nakuru on the railway land, Karanja said the lobby group in the 1990s, wrote a number of letters to government officials protesting the grabbing of the land but they were ignored.
He noted with concern, that the grabbers of such public land, in most cases, end- up-selling to struggling Wananchi who long to own a house or business premises, but in the end, the ‘innocent’ investor is left to battle it alone.
He commended the government for the expansion of roads in the country but noted that the mapping was done a long time ago, almost immediately after independence, and he urged the government to keep on reminding Wananchi of the gazetted road networks to reduce unnecessary losses.
While speaking today during a press conference in Nakuru town, Karanja said with the computerization of government services, it was possible for the government to create a register of public land, where Wananchi could check before spending their hard-earned money.
By Veronica Bosibori