They passed me along the Mbagathi road, Nairobi on 16th September 2009 to Langata new homes in government Lorries as they shout in celebration. The people of Kibera slum are now moving to the new “Posh” area of Southland Nairobi. Yes it was great joy both to them and those who witnessed the plight.
What about the terms and the deal for the new homes. Rent; Kshs.500/=, Electricity and Water; Kshs.500/=. Looks cheap but for how long will they be paying rent. Is it not time that they own their own houses as well? Is there a written agreement that the rent will remain as so? Or will another regime come to change the terms? These are the questions that many are asking. If you ask me, the whole issue looks like a means to get rid of the slum and not necessarily to help the residents. I may be wrong to predict this but soon the electricity and water bill will be increased. There are high chances that these utilities will be abused as the residents misuse/overuse them. From that point, the charges will surely go up and the residents will be required to dig deeper into their pockets.
This is what I thought would have been real help; the tenants would have been given the option to buy the houses in terms of mortgages and other financial arrangements. That in my view would have been the best option that will have a lasting benefit to these low income people. But making them pay rent that is likely to increase in future may not work out. I see this as one other cleverer political move.