In an effort to recover more than Ksh. 7 billion worth of land allegedly taken in Nakuru and Kericho counties, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has committed to prosecute land-grabbing cases.
In a news conference on Friday in Laikipia County, EACC Central Regional Manager Abraham Kemboi listed more than 60 government-owned land parcels that he claimed had been taken by private developers.
“Anything that was sold to you that belonged to the government must be given back. We are looking into at least 60 different land parcels. The legislation currently states that it is not allowed to take away government land, he continued, adding: “In the recent past, we were talking about 50 parcels, but we have learned they are increasing up.”
The Commission observes that certain dishonest land authorities are collaborating with new land grabbers and illegally reallocating the land in exchange for sizable bribes after recovering public land parcels in various parts of the nation and returning them to the government.
For instance, property worth more than Ksh. 7.2 billion is allegedly said to have been taken in Nakuru and Kericho Counties. According to EACC statistics, investigations into the aforementioned properties have yielded results totaling around Ksh. 2 billion, with cases still being looked into representing about Ksh. 5.1 billion of the entire value.
According to a statement from the commission, “public land parcels snatched in Naivasha, Njoro, and Karbanet are valued at Ksh. 2,064,000,000…public land parcels grabbed in Karbanet, Nakuru, and Kericho valued at Ksh.5,141,117,648.”
At the same time, Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu and EACC Central Regional Manager Abraham Kemboi highlighted a scenario in which a portion of the land that currently houses the Governor and County Commissioner’s residences had been taken.
He claimed that the 38 acres of land on which the County Commissioner’s Residence now stands had been reduced to 4 acres. He claims that private developers have seized control of the remaining land in concert with land officials.
“We now see that not even the governor’s mansion is secure. Some of it has been taken by someone… Therefore, those who believe they have titles to the county commissioner’s residence should be told that they do not.
The Commission will pursue all of the involved land officials and advocate prosecution for abuse of office and fraudulent acquisition of public property in addition to the ongoing civil recovery actions.