Joho: Nobody will stop me! Buxton housing project must continue
By Brian Osweta
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has told off critics who oppose the Buxton housing project in Mombasa. He has accused them of having ill motives that are not for the tenants’ interests.
The governor who is currently serving his last term in office, said that he has a responsibility as a leader to transform the lives of Mombasa residents and nobody can stop him from doing so.
Speaking during the public participation of the Buxton Housing Project held at Wild Waters, Nyali on Sunday, Governor Joho said the project is not aimed at exploiting the residents, but to improve their living conditions.
“It will really be sad if someone incites you to stop this project, yet it is meant to transform your lives. Our agenda is to make you a property owner, the county government does not want to make money out if it’s citizens!” Said Joho.
The Buxton Housing Project is part of the Mombasa County Government plans to redevelop the old estates under the Sh200 billion housing project, in line with the Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plan- Mombasa Vision (MV) 2035.
In the MV 2035 master plan, redevelopment of the old estates such as the one in Buxton is contained under the housing component. Other areas in Mombasa set to have redevelopment include Changamwe, Likoni and Mzizima estates.
According to Lands, housing and physical planning Chief Officer Dr. June Mwajuma, in Buxton, the plan is to change the current 500 houses in the area to 1,900 houses.
“The project aims to construct 700 2-bedroom houses, 600 1-bedroom houses and 600 3 bedroom houses. We are partnering with banks which will give favourable mortgage plans for the people.” Said Dr. Mwajuma.
The verified tenants of Buxton estates are set to receive sh. 300, 000 compensation which they can use as a deposit for the new houses.
In the project, which is also an investment of the former Mombasa gubernatorial candidate in the 2017 elections, Suleiman Shahbal, the 30sqm 1-bedroom apartments are set to go for sh. 1.8 M, 2 bedroom 50sqm to go for sh. 3M and the 70 sqm will go for sh. 4.2 M.
There are plans to also include a tenancy agreement for those who opt to rent the houses in the second phase.
A section of residents have however opposed the project, arguing that the public participation held at Wild waters was rushed and that it was on short notice.
“The notice was given on Friday and they expected us to attend on Sunday. They have now instead taken their county staff to attend the public participation, we will request for another one to be held.” Said Mrs Njau, a buxton resident.
Others have accused the Buxton Welfare tenant association of being divided, with some serving their own interests in the housing project.
“The committee is compromised, a lot of information is not being revealed. Most of us are very old, I am 47 -years-old, the mortgage is 20 years, I am supposed to retire in the next 13 years, what will happen then?” Asked Mr. John Owino.
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The construction of the project is set to commence in January 2021 with the phase 1 of the apartments in Buxton expected to be ready by January 2022.
There will also be a community centre that comprises of a social hall, youth centre, Nursery school and medical clinic.