Shule Yangu Alliance Campaign together with its partners wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the demolition of structures and property belonging to Martin Luther Primary School in Makadara Sub-County, Nairobi County by unknown people, and sadly with the protection of police officers who were brought in by 5 land cruisers and a lorry. The demolition, which occurred today in the wee hours of the morning, between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM brought down the school’s workshop and a classroom. Furniture, worth KES 100,000.00 which was inside the workshop, was destroyed during the demolition. This is the second incident following a similar one that happened in 2018 during which the roof of the same workshop was brought down. The case (a criminal case) is currently before court and awaiting ruling.
Martin Luther Primary school, a public school established in 1927 has a population of 801 students with 66 pupils having special needs. The school’s land (through the defunct Nairobi City Council) has been part of a land tussle involving about 5.3 Ha with Thabiti Enterprises LTD.
The case of Martin Luther Primary is just a classic example of what many schools are currently facing in Kenya. Issues pertaining to land grabbing, encroachment, succession matters have been on the rise. Worth noting is that this is aggravated by the fact that 56% of schools in Kenya do not have title deeds.
Since 2015, Shule Yangu Alliance Campaign has been agitating for the protection of public school land in Kenya. Even though remarkable progress has been made, the unfortunate demolition of structures at Martin Luther Primary is an unbroken cue that ‘it is not yet Uhuru’ as far as protection of public-school land in Kenya is concerned. It is unfortunate to see that while multi-agency efforts are ongoing to safeguard schools across the country, actors within the same government especially the National Police Service are aiding grabbing of public-school land by protecting land grabbers.
To this end, these are our calls of action:
- That the Ministry of Education, the National Lands Commission (NLC), the Multi-Agency Working Group on School titling, and the Nairobi Metropolitan Service take the necessary action in defense of Martin Luther Primary School and that it be issued with a title deed according to the survey plan and demarcations conducted in 1956.
- That action be taken against the police officers who offered protection during the demolitions since it was illegal as there was no court order issued to the school.
- Acknowledging the progress made towards titling of schools, we strongly urge the government to speed up the acceleration of titling of all untitled schools in Kenya which according to studies conducted by Shule Yangu Alliance increases the risk towards encroachment and grabbing.
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Shule Yangu Alliance Campaign
Gerald Okoth |email@example.com| +254703247825