Peek ‘N’ Peel proprietor Kimani Rugendo is on the spot for allegedly grabbing public land in Jamhuri Estate Phase 1, that he has used to establish private business.
Mr Rugendo is reported to be drilling a commercial water borehole within a residential area, as well as a staggering steel water tower on communal property.
At first, Mr Rugendo had applied and was granted a permit to sink a borehole for personal use on his plot which he successfully did.
However, he changed the purpose from personal to commercial use, something that he had not been authorised to do.
“The drilling has caused damage to the shared common walk, distress, noise and uncertainty as to the structural safety of the houses on the terraced properties,” said residents in several letters written to authorities.
The water is to be used in his factory which bottles water which he claims is from Mount Kenya and where he also packages Juices and bottled drinks for human consumption. No tests have been done to the water so far, which puts to risk million of people who buy his company’s products.
Residents who reached out to Kahawa Tungu say that the houses share sewer lines which are close to the drilling area, posing an even greater threat to health of consumers.
His company manufactures Pick ‘N’ Peel and Afia ready-to-drink juices, and carbonated variants of non-alcoholic malt drinks, including Plain Malt, Energy Malt, Lemon Malt and Orange Malt.
Some residents approached Mr Kimani’s agents on the ground about the possibility of the neighborhood drawing water from the borehole. Mr Kimani accepted to the request so long as enough people would sign in and a larger storage tank can be installed to serve the neighborhood and still leave capacity for his industrial use.
Some residents(32 in number) considered this as an answer to long standing prayers and signed in.
Accordingly, he has purported to build a water tower on the public land behind the house in which he intends to store his water before sending it to the factory to be bottled and consumed by unsuspecting members of the public.
Despite the residents writing to several government agencies such as Commissioner of Lands, National Lands Commission, National Police Service, National Environment Management Authority and Water Resources Authority, nothing has been done since September 2019.
Rugendo currently has four boreholes in and outside Nairobi and none is for commercial sale of water.
Residents who tried to complain to the site managers were threatened with goons hired from Kibra.
“In a bid to assert power and silence dissenters on Wednesday 08 April, Mr. Irungu called a gang of over ten young men from nearby Kibra who physically threatened the residents. This is recorded at the police station under OB No: 10/08/04/2020 at 1600hrs,” said one of the residents.
Here are some complaints that have never been attended to since last year.