Inside Politics

House wants ADC land recovered from Moi cronies

Friday, December 1st, 2023 05:40 | By
House wants ADC land recovered from Moi cronies
Agriculture Development Corporation, Managing Director Mohamed Bulle responds to questions from members of the Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture on audited accounts. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

Members of Parliament want all land belonging to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) allocated to powerful individuals during the Moi regime repossessed.

The land was allocated to powerful individuals during the Moi regime including ministers, members of the provincial administration, and military heads under the guise that it was being given to squatters.

Yesterday, the National Assembly Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture, heard how the corporation lost thousands of acres of land to individuals backed by the former regime.

The committee will now carry out a special audit on all the land belonging to the corporation, in a bid to repossess it and have the beneficiaries pay for the time they have utilised it.

ADC Managing Director Mohammed Bulle told the committee that most of the land was not recoverable based on the past experience the corporation has faced.

Bulle named former Treasury Permanent Secretary Charles Mbindyo who was allocated 10,000 ADC while former Nairobi University Vice Chancellor Philip Mbithi who given 3,000 acres.

“What we have gone through is not a good experience, it has been extremely difficult to recover these chunks of land,” Bulle told the committee chaired by Navakholo MP Emanuel Wangwe.

He named the infamous Ngata land in Nakuru which he said has the most difficult property to deal with. The 32,000 acres of land were allocated mainly to powerful individuals during the Moi regime.

“We have an individual who was allocated 6,000 acres and another 10,000 acres and who have not paid for the property,” Bulle said while responding to audit queries. “The Ngata farm, measuring 32,000 acres is a clear case where the land was dished out to powerful individuals. We cannot salvage that land,” Bulle said.

He said unscrupulous individuals had subdivided ADC land in Malindi into five-acre plots despite the ADC holding the title deed for the property.

Bulle said in Trans Nzoia, the ADC surrendered 15,000 acres in Chepchoina to settle the landless but the Settlement Fund Trustees had only allocated 8,000 acres.

“A task force was formed in September 2023 by the office of the President to look at the land issues at ADC. It comprises the Ministry of Lands as its chair, the National Land Commission (NLC), the office of the President, and the ADC,” Bulle said.

Bulle told members that in some instances the NLC has allocated ADC land to squatters making it extremely hard to recover.

Squatters favoured

“In one instance, NLC allocated land to squatters and when we went to court to challenge the same, the court ruled in favour of the squatters,” Bulle narrated.

Tetu MP Geoffrey Wandeto called for the formation of a commission of inquiry to probe the emotive ADC land grab.

But on a positive note, Bulle told MPs that the corporation had recovered more than 6,000 acres of grabbed land countrywide.

In the coastal region, ADC said they have recovered at least 3,000 acres at ADC farm in Malindi, which had been grabbed.

The MD said they are seeking to secure all their properties through partnerships to prevent further encroachment in the future.

Bulle also revealed that they also recovered 3,000 acres at Ndabibi farm in Naivasha Nakuru and 60 acres from Kitale Semen Production Centre.

“The progress in recovering land has been enhanced over the years and we can say most of the land is back in our hands,” he said.

He said plans are underway to fence the ADC lands across the country to deter land grabbers and squatters. He said they are in talks with the National Youth Service to partner in doing the fencing.

“The fencing can be in the form of life, electric, or digging trenches around the farms and securing the land,” he said.

ADC has more than 1.8 million acres across the country including in Kilifi, Tana River, Garissa, Laikipia, Nakuru, and Trans Nzoia counties.

Intervisible pillars

The corporation cited a lack of engaging registered land surveyors, inspection, and maintenance of intervisible pillars or objects to guide the public on the extent of boundaries between beacons.

“Fighting land grabbing in ADC will not only benefit the government but it will also create jobs for people living within the land surrounding ADC and make the country food secure,” Bulle said.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has opened a probe on the controversial allocation of land at the coast to powerful individuals for a fraction of the market rate.

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