UN-Habitat Assistant Secretary-General in charge of human development in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific, Leonard Ognimba yesterday reported claims that Kenya’s wealthy individuals were relocating to slum areas for more wealth creation or preservation reasons.
Speaking during the ongoing UN-Habitat Assembly official said that the rich were renting out their posh homes in the suburbs and moving to the slums to put up rental structures, shops and even avoid taxes. He also claimed that the slums were providing a safe haven for those rich people who were engaged in illegal activities.
We’ve seen expensive vehicles parked in slums,” Ognimba noted. “The paradox of becoming poor to grow richer, and its a challenge. We want to upgrade the slums so there is no back and forth movement,” he added.
Further, he expressed concerns that the trend may see wealthy Kenyans benefiting from the affordable housing program ahead of the more deserving lower income Kenyans. The reservations stem from instances of the rich being core beneficiaries of slum upgrading programs.