Brief on Schools at Risk

The scale of public school land grabbing in Kenya remains grave going with the status of schools titled since the presidential directive of 2015 and the reports Shule Yangu Alliance has received from schools at risk of losing their land. Below is a summary of the most recent cases from December 2017 to February 2018 that the Alliance is following up on.

  1. Mweza Primary & Secondary School – Likoni sub-county, Mombasa County 

In September 2017 the school reported to ShuleYangu Alliance and National Lands Commission that the Kenya Navy encroached the school land claiming that the field area, Secondary school and ECD land is part of the Navy boundary. The ShuleYangu Alliance then had discussions with the County Commissioner and it was agreed together with the Navy chief in charge of the base that there will be no further encroachment and a review of the boundaries. Kenya Navy breached this agreement and attempted to put up a fence in the school. Action by Shule Yangu Alliance and county stakeholders stopped the encroachment and as of now no further construction is ongoing on the school land.

  1. Uhuru Secondary School – Nairobi County

It is one of the schools affected by the urban housing renewal spear-headed by Nairobi county.  It is a boarding school serving more than Three Hundred and Fifty students but has a capacity of Six Hundred Students. It has currently received funding from the Ministry of Education of Kshs 11 million for development. Former Deputy Governor visited the school late in 2017 and assured the school that it will not be affected by the urban housing process. However, the MCA has been in a tussle with the school alleging that part of the school land has been earmarked for urban housing and allegedly threatened and intimidated the BOM. Case reported to SY on 22nd December 2017. SY is supporting the school have the work stoppage order lifted and to get guidance from NLC on school co-ordinates.

  1. Racecourse Primary School – Nairobi County

Part of school land grabbed by private developer. The part of land was leased to the company as a storage premise for construction equipment. However, the lease was terminated by the county government and private developer has refused to vacate.  The case was taken to Court. Case was referred to NLC and County Government.

  1. Victoria Primary School – Kisumu County

Victoria Primary School is a mixed Public Primary School located in Kisumu County its current population stands at 1,265 pupils. The school claims ownership of 3 pieces of land parcel numbers Kisumu/Dago/644 measuring 3.8 Ha, Kisumu/Dago/647 measuring 3.6 Ha which were registered under the Victoria School Parents Association in 1987. The third piece Block 1150 in the city centre is also claimed by the school. The school is in contestation with private entities who have since been s allocated these parcels of land and are in various stages of developing them. Parents, students and teachers staged a demo to demand for action from the land registry on 8th February 2018. The Kisumu County Commissioner whose office is located near the land Registry promised to look into the matter with the relevant stakeholders. Prof. Swazuri visited the school and said his office will issue a letter addressing the issue. The school asks Shule Yangu to follow up with National Lands Commissin for the letter.

  1. St. John Kimuchi – Sirgoit location Moiben Sub-County Uasin Gishu County

The School owned a 1-acre piece of land that was in a location far away from the school. An agreement with private resident who owned a parcel next to the school to exchange the two parcels so the school land could be on one plot was entered into. A private individual has since claimed ownership over the land originally owned by the school and displaced the school neighbor who had who has gone back to claim his land which the school now uses for its activities. No written agreement was entered into to support the agreement. The school is not in possession of any ownership documents for either piece of land. Shule Yangu is supporting the school submit a report of the case to the CDE, NLC and get the NLC coordinator for attend a meeting next week on the case.

  1. Naka Primary School – Nakuru County

On 24th January 2018, the ODPP placed an application to the court on the withdrawal of the criminal case against the Naka5 in response to the recommendations of the 2017 Parliamentary Report. However, the private counsel of Ense Ltd (complainant) placed an application to the court for locus standi to enable him present the views of his client before the court makes a determination on the application for withdrawal.

On 30th January 2018, the court through Chief magistrate Ms. Gicheha, granted the application of locus standi to the private counsel. In her ruling she cited that the Victim’s Protection Act (2014) has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims and expanded the role of their representation in court.

The hearing for the private counsel’s arguments has been scheduled for 7th March 2018 at 9am at the Nakuru Law Courts. An application for the absence of the “accused” was requested by the legal counsel for the defendants but was denied on grounds that the reasons given were not weighty.

  1. Valley Bridge – Kiamaiko Nairobi County

Located near Kiamaiko slaughterhouse in Mathare it has a population of approximately 1200 pupils from class 1 to class 8. Part of the school playground area has been encroached upon by informal traders who have set-up stalls right outside the school fence. The sellers engage in sale of drugs and other vices which has posed a security risk to the school community.  The school management (BOM/PTA) and CDF through a former MP built a concrete perimeter wall securing the main schooling area including classes, administration block and playing field. They did this to secure the main school area and to prevent flooding waters from a river bordering the school land from sweeping into the classes during the rainy season. This perimeter wall has, however, demarcated the school leaving the land outside it (still claimed to be part of school land) open which has enabled the encroachment. Currently the school is at risk of losing the land occupied by the traders and continue to experience security risks from their activities. Case referred to National Lands Commission and the Ministry of Education.

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