Kenyans React After Runda's Living Rules Surface Online

  • Maisionettes constructed in Runda, Nairobi
    Maisonettes under construction in Runda, Nairobi in a photo dated 2018.
  • Runda Estate in Nairobi has for years ranked among the uber posh neighbourhoods for the wealthy living in Nairobi city.

    As it turns out, not any Tom, Dick and Harry can put up an abode in the affluent neighbourhood unless they are ready to adhere to rules aimed to keep the estate green.

    In a signpost shared by Ahmed Mohammed, popularly known as Asmali, the residents association of Runda agreed that no construction activities should be carried out on weekends.

    Specifically, the notice warned that no activities should be done between Saturday, 1 p.m. and Monday 7 a.m. and trucks are also not allowed to access the neighboorhood in that period.

    A signpost spelling out rules for access to Runda Estate in Nairobi.
    A signpost spelling out rules for access to Runda Estate in Nairobi.

    The rules also hinder vehicles weighing over seven tonnes from accessing the neighbourhood. Matatus and unauthorised boda bodas are also prohibited while trucks must obtain clearance.

    The general public is also barred from loitering, dumping or burning trash while maximum speed for all vehicles traversing the estate should be maintained at 30 km/hr.

    Asmali was impressed by the rules noting that they helped keep the estate green.

    "I went to Runda today. Impressed with how organized they are there. I don’t know why we can’t replicate this in all estates across Nairobi. And it’s very green. It can be done.

    "These rules, if you read keenly helps with security, safety, less pollution, better environment," argued Asmali.

    A number of Kenyans, however, disagreed with his assertions noting that for such neighbourhoods, or to adhere to such rules, the residents must have significant incomes in their pockets.

    "Sadly that cannot happen is all Nairobi estates, 99% of Nairobi estates cannot afford to maintain such standards, in Runda service charge goes north of 250K per annum, they can afford such strict regulations," argued a user known as Mwangi.

    "How do you ferry construction materials if vehicles over 7 tonnes aren't allowed?" Questioned Nyabuto.

    In recent months, residents of the wealthy neighbourhoods have resisted an entry of lower cadre investors seeking to cash in on highrise buildings.

    On May 27, 2021, residents of Tigoni, Kiambu County rejected the construction of single units in the lavish and expansive neighbourhood arguing that it would destroy the area's scenery.

    Redhill Kentmere Residents Association's appeal was upheld by the Appellate Court which halted the construction of 71 single-family units in Redhill, Tigoni. 

    The association told the court that building the new houses would disrupt the flow of water, affect the wetlands and also increase soil erosion in the evergreen neighbourhood. 

    In mid-April, a report by Cytonn Real Estate indicated that development in Kileleshwa had slowed down over increased land prices and an increase in highrise apartments.

    As of January 2021, residents of low-rise houses in Kileleshwa had started leaving the posh neighbourhood in search of privacy arguing that an influx in high-rise apartments meant neighbours could see whatever bungalow and maisonette owners were up to.

    “Houses in Kileleshwa were initially cool, not as tall and the place was not crowded. But now, even people living in these blocks of apartments can hardly be trusted to be upright residents,” stated one of the residents.

    An aerial view of Kileleshwa Estate in Nairobi.
    An aerial view of Kileleshwa Estate in Nairobi.