Residents of Eastleigh in Nairobi have praised the demolition of a building that had been illegally erected at a grabbed hospital parcel of land as Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s government moved to repossess the health center land from land grabbers.
The residents said that the demolition was in the interests of the public who stood to lose the chance to access medical care following the demolition of a hospital block at the Eastleigh Health Center on the estate’s fourth street along Eastleigh second avenue.
County bulldozers descended on a building that had been put up under the watch of Eastleigh Airbase ward as the Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Fuad Hussein following public outcry and an official complaint letter that was sent to the Nairobi County Chief Officer of Health facilities Geoffrey Mosiria by the Kamukunji Sub County health officer Dr. Mirriam Etole last December.
The building, believed to be owned by Fuad was demolished amidst sharp criticism from the MCA who accused Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja of intimidation. “Sakaja Johnson, There is no way you are taking the beef to the ground. My main aim is to do the oversight and we have to keep intact in the county expenditure. If u think that u can silence me, you are very wrong! I won’t be ridiculed. I will expose your impunity until the last minute,” Fuad wrote on his social media pages.
According to investigations, Fuad grabbed the hospital premises after duping the management that he was putting up a ward MCA’s office only to start erecting a multi-story commercial building.
On 22nd December 2022, Dr. Etole wrote to Mosiria the Health Facilities Chief Officer in the Nairobi County Government reporting that there had been an unauthorized demolition and construction of a building at the health facility in Eastleigh. The sub-county medical officer reported that the facility housed the offices of the ward administrator and the Eastleigh Airbase MCA had requested to set up his office at the facility. However, during the Christmas holidays, the MCA accessed the building and demolished it leaving residents with no health center.
Residents say the the demolition was a step in the right direction calling on the county government to ensure that land grabbers have no space to take over public property.
Hassan Muhammad, the Secretary General of the Eastleigh Airbase Residence Lobby group in a letter dated 20th December 2022 to the then Nairobi County Secretary Jairus Musumba raised the red flag after information that the area MCA Fuad Hassan’s intentions to grab the health center land and build a commercial property in the guise of constructing an office for his roles as area MCA.
The county government’s director in charge of planning compliance and enforcement on 21st July 2023 under the Physical Planning and land use act directed the developers of the construction to demolish the building, after which the county government moved to bring down the building for the offense of construction without county approval.
Fuad in a separate incident was recorded calling a Nairobi county planning officer to issue threats following a letter that had been written to sanction the MCA overland grabbing. The MCA was heard uttering unprintable insults to the officer and issuing threats to cause bodily harm to the officer.