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Report: Residents oppose Sh6bn Mombasa housing project

Report: Residents oppose Sh6bn Mombasa housing project. The residents want to continue occupying the flats in the estate and that the county and Buxton Point Apartment Ltd that is set to undertake the project, do not have the power to interfere with their quiet and peaceful occupancy.

A Sh6 billion affordable housing project by Mombasa County in partnership with a private developer risks stalling should a petition filed by some residents of Buxton Estate succeed.

In their petition at the Environment and Land Court, the residents also want a declaration that Buxton Point Apartments Ltd does not have the capacity to deal with any portion of the land where the estate stands.

They argue that current tenants will lose their houses that will be demolished and those to be built will be sold to any willing buyer at commercial rates. “The petitioners state that many of them will not have the opportunity of purchasing any such houses as they are people of low income,” the petition reads.

Through lawyer Gikandi Ngibuini, they argue that Buxton Estate stands on 14 acres of public land thus the powers to manage it is the mandate of the National Land Commission (NLC).

Mr Gikandi argues that the county government acted unlawfully by purporting to alienate public land hence it amounts to a violation of the Constitution. “Any project that is to be carried out on public land must be subject edto the approval of the NLC,” the petition states.

They further claim that the county government unlawfully used the Public-Private Partnership Act to confer a benefit over the use of the public land on Buxton Point Apartments Ltd, rendering the decision illegal.

The residents further say that demolition of the existing flats and the intended construction of 1,500 units will create disturbances that will have huge social, political and economic implications.

“The respondent has failed to carry out a comprehensive feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment to establish the adverse effects that the project is likely affect the people of Buxton estate,” the suit states.

They also claim the county did not offer information on the project, raising the question of integrity, accountability, transparency, sustainable development and viability.

“The intended eviction will create serious and adverse impacts on the petitioners, which include relocation plan, compensation for eviction, comeback plan, tenant purchase plan and payment rates for the new apartment.”

Source – BusinessDay

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