Communities living around the multi-billion-shilling Tatu City project in Ruiru yesterday held demonstrations against attempts to grab land within the project.
The protestors claimed the “grabbers” had already illegally acquired 1,128 acres of land — and that they were targeting more — within the project that sits on 30,000 acres.
Carrying placards with castigating messages and chanting the names of those implicated in the scheme, the angry residents and staff working at the project condemned the grabbers for stalling operations of the project through litigations and parliamentary petitions.
They said that the project was fully beneficial to the community singling out that it has employed thousands of locals as drivers, security guards, engineers, teachers at a school-run by the project.
“The project has been feeding our children through school feeding programmes, it has employed over 2,000 residents who would be jobless by now,” said 75-year-old Andrew Mwangi.
They alleged that locals were being extorted Sh2,000 with promises they would be enlisted as shareholders in the project.
“We know MPs who have been paid by a billionaire and using their privileges want to grab a huge parcel of land. It is after we thwarted their efforts that they moved a petition to parliamentary halting operations of the project,” said a worker at the project which is touted as the largest private development in the country.
The locals who want the leaders to keep off the project and tell Kenyans the truth said that there are no local shareholders in Tatu City and accused the legislators of sourcing people who have no clue about the land from other areas outside Ruiru to give weight to the falsified petition
“They have been sourcing for people from outside the jurisdiction of the project who they paid to sign the petition. We fear loss of jobs ,” said Mercy Njeri.
Ruiru MP Simon King’ara has also criticised the petition by Kiambu town MP Jude Njomo saying it was engineered to satisfy individualistic interests.
Through a petition moved by Kiambu town MP Jude Njomo to parliamentary lands committee on June 21, the petitioners wanted the National Assembly to investigate and suggest a remedy to injustices inflicted on them by the firm’s majority shareholders.
The petitioners who had claimed to be shareholders in two companies that own 13,600 acres — part of which was allocated to Tatu City — wanted to be recognised.