Ruto’s project must stop, Nubians community in court over land tussles

A lobby group has filed a case in court against President William Ruto’s slum upgrading project in Kibra.

The Nubian Rights Forum (NRF) in a petition filed by lawyer Danstan Omar wants courts to issue orders stopping the project.

They argue that the government is undertaking it on land owned by the Nubian minority community without their consent despite having a title given to them by the former regime in 2017.

NRF chair Shaffie Ali told The Star that it was unlawful for the State to undertake the project without their involvement.

He questioned why the current regime wants to take away what belongs to them with impunity.

“288 acres of land in Kibra belongs to Nubians and the government cannot come and take it away in disguise of slum upgrading unless they sit down with them,” Shaffie explained.

He says Ruto’s administration formed a task force chaired by former area MP Imran Okoth that he was part of to oversee the project.

He differed with the task force’s plans to amend the Trust Deed that is holding the title handed to them by the former regime.

“There is a plot to amend the Trust Deed which is contrary to the Constitution. A sitting trustee is an interested party; they cannot initiate such an amendment because they might not be doing it for the benefit of the community,” Shaffie said.

The rights activists wondered how the Nubian community, which is the minority, will benefit from the houses which the government plans to build because they will be forced to rent them yet they have been built on their land.

He said the community is ready to work with the government but on technical support only.

The case is set to be mentioned on June 30, 2023

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