EACC recovers Ksh345M gov’t land grabbed by former lands commissioner
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered a five-acre government land worth Ksh345 million.
According to a statement shared by the commission, the land in question belonged to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and was grabbed by private individuals through private companies and proxies.
EACC noted that the recovered piece of land situated within Nakuru Town Centre had 20 prime government units which were reserved for government housing.
"The grabbed but now recovered property, known as Land Parcel number Nakuru Municipality Block 5/221, had been planned, reserved and used for government housing. The government residential quarters are popularly known as St. Xavier Estate, located off Oginga Odinga Avenue, along Gusii Road and adjacent to St. Xavier School in Nakuru county," the statement reads in parts.
The commission underscored that the land together with the government units on it was fraudulently allocated by former commissioner of lands Wilson Gachanja to one Saleh Chepkole and Titus Kipkemboi.
EACC claims that the two individuals then transferred the property in question to a private entity named Pembeni Limited which then transferred it to Liberty Assurance Company.
When presented to the land court, the judge nullified all the transactions that subsequently led to the illegal transfer of the land and declared the allocation and issuance of the lease as null and void.
"A declaration is hereby issued that the allocation and issuance of a lease over land parcel number Nakuru Municipality Block 5/221 on 16/11/1998 by the Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja (5th Defendant) to Saleh Chepkole and Titus Kipkemboi and the subsequent transfers to the Pembeni Limited and Liberty Assurance Company Limited is null and void," the court stated.
The court subsequently ordered that the land in question be registered in the name of the Permanent Secretary (PS) to the Treasury on behalf of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak has since called on all persons holding titles to grab government property to voluntarily surrender to the commission.
"EACC is empowered under the law to enter into negotiations with graft suspects to facilitate their voluntary surrender of what they have stolen from the public, under the framework of Alternative Dispute Resolution," the commission added.