EACC wins back Sh100m grabbed bus park land in major win

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The anti graft agency has recovered a piece of land valued at Sh100 million that had been reserved for the Nyahururu bus park.

The land had according to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) been irregularly, illegally and unlawfully alienated to favour private individuals including the spouse of a former minister of lands who presided over the grabbing of the land.

The parcel has now been reverted back to the Laikipia County Government which is the rightful owner.

The commission ascertained that there was unlawful alienation of the land to favour private individuals and lodged the matter at the Nyahururu Environment and Lands Court in an attempt to recover the grabbed land.

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Investigations had shown that the land in question had been donated by the Catholic Diocese of Nyeri for the construction of Ngare Naro Primary School in 1972.

However, in 1984 the now defunct Nyandarua County Council working with the then commissioner of lands hived off two acres of the land for the expansion of the Nyahururu bus park with a disclaimer to the school that if the land was not used in the expansion of the bus park it would be reverted back to the school.

The Nyandarua County Council working with the then commissioner of lands subdivided the land into 12 portions and letters of allotment issued to private individuals namely James Kimani Mburu, Boniface Mugo Waikwa, John Kahwai Kabucho, Nereah Muthoni Wachira, Francis Muraya Wachira, Gladys Wairimu Kariuki who is a wife of former minister GG Kariuki and Wilson Gachanja.

EACC established some of the allottees or their successors in claim were subsequently issued with leases and certificates of lease in respect of the portions allocated to them.

It further found out that some allottees or their successors in claim were not issued with leases or certificates of lease.

“There have been several court cases between members of public (in particular, a group of Mitumba Traders) and the persons who were allocated the suit properties.”

According to EACC, under the alternative dispute resolution negotiations, the defendants who were the allottees agreed to voluntarily surrender the title documents to the commission.

The six had already begun developing the parcel of land in a joint venture to construct a shopping mall and were at the foundation stages by the time the EACC struck.

EACC wrote to the Ministry of Lands in December, 2022 and now awaits completion of the processing of the title deed to handover back to the County government for public benefit.

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