By cyrus Ombati for the Standard
Anti-riot police were Monday mobilised and deployed to Langata Road Primary School ahead of a planned protest at the field to reclaim part of a land that has been grabbed.
The school with more than 500 pupils opens Monday after a long holiday that was followed by teachersâ€™ strike.
The move by police has heightened tension there amid reports the protest may turn ugly as the protesters plan to pull down a perimeter wall on the land. There were fears this may affect traffic flow along the busy Langata Road and police have urged caution from motorists.
However, police say they will allow the activists planning to picket there to continue with their protests. The activists have in the meantime been warned against destruction of property while holding the protests.
â€œAs long as they are peaceful we will not have any problem. Police are there to protect the nearby property and ensure peace and security. We urge the organisers to be civil,â€ said Nairobi police boss Benson Kibue. Near the school, there is a hotel, a petrol station and the Wilson Airport, which police say must be protected.
Activist Boniface Mwangi and Kibra MP Ken Okoth plan to stage a protest there dubbed #OccupyPlayGround at the playground aimed at reclaiming the land from the private developer. â€œWe plan to be civil and urge those willing to join us,” said Mwangi.
The officers are in their vehicles ready for action when called. The playground in question is under investigations and the National Lands Commission, and the agencyâ€™s chairman Muhamad Swazuri has said it belongs to the school.
Swazuri led NLC commissioners on a visit to the school and said preliminary investigations reveal the land belongs to the school. He said NLC will review all land ownership documents given to individuals to verify their authenticity. â€œThe school was allocated the land in 1972.
The Airport View Housing company acquired their title deed in 1995. We will summon Airport View directors to come and explain how they acquired the title deed,â€ Swazuri said. He said the commission and the Nairobi County government will ensure children access the playground.