The upmarket Runda estate will be open to all after the Nairobi County Assembly ordered seven manned barriers put up along three roads removed.
The assembly approved a motion by Karura ward representative Kamau Thuo asking Runda Residents Association to remove the barriers put up on the public roads seven years ago.
Mr Thuo said that the association had violated conditions formulated by the defunct City Council of Nairobi and allowed the erection of barriers on Pan African Insurance Lane, Ruaka and Githogoro roads.
According to the rules, set up in 2007, the roads are supposed to be accessible to all human traffic and cars including public utility vehicles. The barriers have made it difficult for residents of neighbouring areas to go through the estate, forcing them to drive around it.
“Runda Residents Association and Runda Water Ltd have been demanding gate passes, charging for road use and erecting barriers preventing some vehicles from accessing public roads,” read a section of the motion.
Mr Thuo tabled a directive from Runda Water Ltd signed by a Mr S Mwangi, the security manager, restricting the entry of trucks ferrying construction materials between 7am to 7pm.
The directive also said that contractors must issue their workers with official letters to verify that they were of good conduct.
“Loitering in the estate by construction workers is not allowed,” concluded the notice.
Leader of majority Elias Otieno, who represents Kileleshwa ward, said that road barriers were common in upmarket estates and seconded the motion calling for their removal.
“Some people term them private roads but they are not. In my area, it is the same,” he said.
The removal of the barriers, which were put up for security purposes and are manned by private guards, could cause jitters among residents who have relied on them to keep out criminals.
Speaker Alex ole Magelo asked the implementation committee to expedite the process and have the barriers removed in two weeks.
“When we come from recess we want to hear that barriers on public roads in Runda are no more,” he said.
This is the latest battle taken to the association and its subsidiary Runda Water Ltd, with the latter facing a court case claiming that it has denied residents access to other water providers.