The Lands Cabinet Secretary, Alice Wahome, has fired two senior officials from her ministry for colluding with cartels to facilitate the grabbing of public cemetery land.
The Cabinet Secretary who was in Thika, to reclaim grabbed cemetery land said the two officials who work in Nairobi will have their jobs terminated for aiding in the grabbing of parcels of land in the city.
The speaker vowed to punish those who aided in stealing public land and warned her Ministry officers who have been involved with cartels of their potential termination and prosecution. A Police officer allegedly aided a private investor in acquiring a public land title deed, while the other officer testified in court, providing false information.
“I have instructed the Principal Secretary to have the two interdicted. I can’t be fighting corruption in the Ministry, yet my people are dragging those efforts along and aiding in crime,” he said.
The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by Principal Secretary Nixon Korir, Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a, and the Registrar of Lands, among other Ministry officials.
On the grabbed cemetery land in the Gatitu area, the CS reverted it to public land despite a ruling by the area Lands and Environment Court in favour of a private investor who went to court claiming ownership.
Wahome also ordered police officers who have been providing security as the owner began digging a perimeter wall to leave the site.
During the digging by excavators, the bodies of people who had been buried at the cemetery were exhumed, causing a huge public outcry.
“From the records and maps that we have, it is clear that this is public land. How it was reverted to a private developer is a mystery. But for now, it will remain so. No development should be done in this area,” said CS Wahome.
Member of Parliament Ng’an’ga said no public land will be grabbed in her constituency under her watch, noting that the appetite for public land in the area was on the rise.
“We shall deal with land grabbers in the constituency ruthlessly. There are many government projects we are undertaking, and we shall need this land to actualize the goals,”Ng’ang’a said.