TAMARIND VILLAGE OWNERS VOW TO RESIST ROADS AUTHORITY
When news emerged earlier in the week that the Kenya Road Authority has floated plans to build another bridge from the island of Mombasa to the northern mainland, and along the route of the old pontoon bridge which at the time allowed only one way traffic until the new Nyali bridge was built at the time by the Japanese government as part of their infrastructural development aid, owners of buildings since put up along the formally decommissioned road reserves and wayrights by government were shocked to learn they are being targeted for destruction. Kenyas recent history with demolitions is reading like a demons sermon, with in particular the court prohibited but nevertheless carried out massive destruction of residential homes near the international airport in Nairobi raising the heat and passions, ending the Kenya Airports Authority CEO in court with contempt charges and the likelyhood, if losing the case, of KAA having to cough up multibillion settlements to those whose livelihood they wantonly destroyed under the cover of armed security.
In Mombasa, the old bridge was owned by Nyali Limited and when it was decommissioned back then they company sold the landing sites and adjoining parcels of land.
The famous Tamarind Restaurant, a culinary and architectural landmark set above Tudor Creek, then purchased some of the land to eventually develop condominiums under the name Tamarind Village which took the market by storm and resulted in big names purchasing the condos as an investment or to spend time in gated and well managed luxury on vacation or for long weekends.
The owners were hence swift in turning the tables on the Kenya Road Authority and accused them of deliberate mischief, while presenting title deeds and transaction notes from 1986, when their land purchase was completed and registered. A spokesperson for Tamarind Village Ltd. also revealed that the company had 58 shareholders and was registered as a public limited liability company with all relevant authorities and had been granted all prerequisite licenses and permits to first build and then operate the posh creek side apartment complex.
Said a periodic source with ownership in the complex: This is a new Kenya under a new constitution. When I see the accusations made of having fraudulently acquired the land, these chaps should be sued for slander immediately. But then, as you wrote yesterday about an arrest inspired by the KWS CEO of a critic of his statistics, they might throw that law at us too for undermining the authority of a public officer, even if he speaks utter nonsense. I understand the lawyers are already involved in the case and may well pre-empt action by getting a permanent restraining order against the road authority to interfere with our property, but again, that is no guarantee that officials will not go berserk and in a cloak and dagger action under cocked guns by the police could not come and start knocking things down. But I am sure you will follow that story as it goes on.
Roads minister Franklin Bett, in a display of almost institutional arrogance, claimed in an earlier statement that he had demanded the land titles be cancelled although unwittingly he conceded in his hastily organized press conference that deeds had been issued and relevant planning and building permits issued by government. Figure that out watch this space.