A family in Nairobi’s Westlands was on Friday night rescued from a gang that had come to evict them, less than a week after an elderly couple’s house was demolished in the same area.
Ms Rakha Shah told the Sunday Nation that she received a phone call from a relative, Ms Faith Rakha, saying three men had raided her residence claiming ownership.
“I received a call that these people had raided my property. I asked to talk to one of the intruders and asked him to bring documents to prove ownership of the property because I did not know him. He said he would bring a court order,” she said.
Mr Galmo Godana, a watchman at the property, narrated how the three men forced their way into the property, claiming they were policemen.
Ms Alice Nyabuto, a cook at the house, recounted how the three ordered her to leave the property immediately.
Incidentally, the men came to the house shortly after a truck full of Nairobi County Government askaris is said to have left the residence with a warning that the family should leave immediately as the property had changed hands.
According to Ms Shah, Friday’s raid was the third since August when she was first approached by strangers claiming ownership.
They returned in September and gave her a terse warning to vacate the property, claiming they were agents of powerful people.
She said she had reported the matter at Spring Valley Police Station but no action has been taken.
“I have reported (the matter) to Spring Valley Police Station before about this case. We tried to involve the police this time again but they told us they could not do anything as they were helpless,” she said.
“This is pure land grabbing. Don’t we have the right to live here? Is it because we are Indians? We have equal rights in this country. Why are the police not taking action?” she lamented.
The intruders were eventually forced out when Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko arrived with several youths and broke the padlock they had used to lock the gates. The senator promised to station youths at the property to ensure the family is not harassed again.
The attack is part of a growing trend in which private developers are colluding with Ministry of Lands officials to create fake leases and lay ownership to property, especially that belonging to the Asian community in upmarket estates in Nairobi like Westlands and Parklands.
Last Sunday, an elderly Asian couple was violently evicted from their house and the structure demolished by a developer claiming he had taken over ownership of the property.
The property is among tens that have been targeted by “new owners” on the pretext that their leases had expired.
A cartel is taking over such properties in the city, dislodging the elderly owners in an unprecedented manner.
The Westlands couple that lost its house last week said they had been living on the quarter acre piece of land valued at Sh80 million since 1972.
They said they learnt that the lease on the property, which is on Jalaram Road next to Oval Place, expired in 2009.
And without their knowledge, an entity known as Franc Logistics obtained a title deed for the land.
The survey plan was issued in 2015. It was then that the family of Ms Parin Kurji, who is the head of biometry at the University of Nairobi, lodged a complaint with the National Land Commission.
Ms Parin, 70, and her husband said the claimants to the land are fraudsters out to con them.
The businessman claiming ownership of the property, Mr Francis Nyaga Njeru, has been arraigned in court and charged with forging ownership documents.