Senators slap Sakaja with Sh500,000 fine, threaten to halt Nairobi Urban regeneration project after he skips session » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – Senators are mulling halting the Nairobi Regeneration and Urban Renewal Program following after Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja failed to show up to shed light on the progress of the construction of 40,000 housing units.

Senate Roads, Transportation, and Housing Chair Karungo Thangwa insisted that the committee will on Thursday this week make a ruling on the issue as the Governor has ignored the sittings six times.

The Kiambu Senator stated that the Sh500,000 shillings fine imposed is in accordance with the standing orders for failing to honor the summons of the committee.

“We will deliberate the issue of halting the Nairobi regeneration and Urban renewal program on Thursday. We have invited the Governor to appear and if he fails we will have to invoke our powers to have the Inspector General to bring him before the committee,” Thangwa ruled.

The Nairobi County Boss failed to honor the committee summon and instead wrote a letter to the committee through the county attorney explaining that he is out of the country on official duty.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna who raised the issue before the committee on behalf of the land owners cited contempt by the Governor to honor the invitations for a whole year.

“We should ask the Director General of Police to avail this Governor, police should be waiting for him at the Airport when he arrives. We will be willing to sit on that day. There’s no other way to have a conversation with him,” he said.

The Committee was meeting with the chairpersons of residents’ associations on Ofafa Jericho, Jericho Lumumba, California and Ofafa Maringo estates earmarked for facelift from Social Housing Units to a Tenant Purchase Scheme for payment of the mortgage.

Sifuna agitated for the halting of the face uplift project in the 13 estates until the matter is heard is cleared by the committee.

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“We are here waiting for the Governor but things are going on in the ground. Contractors have already been identified infact we are waiting to see if the contracts have been signed. We cannot continue like this, let’s stop all the development projects,” said Sifuna.

Marsabit Governor Mohammed Chute added: “There is no land that belongs to the Governor, it belongs to the public. Because the Governor has refused, we nothing should be entertained until these thing has been dealt with. These people are suffering.”

Nairobi County identified 13 estates that have been earmarked for the urban renewal program including Bahati, Maringo, Jericho, Lumumba, Ziwani, Bondeni, Kariobangi, Embakasi and Woodley.

Under the project, Bahati estate will set up 9,000 units, Jericho 6,000, Lumumba 4,000, Maringo 4,000, Woodley 3,400, Ziwani 2,500, Embakasi 2,500, Kariobangi North 2,000 and Bondeni will get 700 units.

Nairobi Governor explained that the urban renewal program is anchored on the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN), which identified the redevelopment of Eastland.

The plans also received a boost after the county boss said that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported the project.

According to the project it will entail 70 percent affordable housing units, which will be sold at a cost of between Sh1.5 million and Sh3.5 million.

In the financial year 2023/2024, the Built Environment and Urban planning sector received Sh358 Million in the Nairobi County Budget.

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