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Luna park traders protest eviction order, vow to stay put

Paul Njuguna

Sept. 16, 2020

Business owners at the popular Nairobi Luna Park amusement park adjacent to Uhuru Park have vowed to stay put despite an eviction order to pave way for the construction of the Nairobi expressway road project.
The traders through their chairman Clifford Ngwala termed an eviction notice by Kenya Railways without compensation as illegal.
They complained that the eight-hour notice issued to them was unprocedural.
The business owners have been at the property for the last 10 years and have so far paid Kenya Railways Retirement Benefits Scheme Ksh72M.
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He said November last year they renewed their lease for another nine years with a down payment of Ksh1.4M that was made 10 days ago.
“We have the receipts and every month we pay rent amounting to Ksh600K. So I do not understand the threat to demolish our businesses without compensation. Let them negotiate with us and once we reach a deal, we will move out” he told journalists.
Another trader said the government is lawfully entitled to acquire land through the compulsory acquisition act but subject to fair and prompt compensation.
“You cannot wake up one day and tell us to move out…..any leased property has an exit clause even if it is a matter of urgency. Business has been down due to COVID and we only opened a month ago only to be told to vacate. where do we take our things….” she posed.
The multi-million shillings property accommodates many recreational activities for children, a car bazaar, club, eateries among other prime businesses.
The Ksh60 billion road project by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) that starts at Mlolongo to James Gichuru Road in Westlands, broke ground in October last year and has been on course.
Once completed in December 2022 as scheduled, the road will ease traffic jam along the busy Mombasa road.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will construct the 27-kilometre road under a public-private partnership.
According to KENHA, the Nairobi Expressway will be the first such road with levies collected from users going to directly to Chinese financiers as return to investments for the next 27 years.
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