EACC recovers Ksh1.2B tourist site from grabbers in Kwale
The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered 31 acres of scenic land in Chale Island, Kwale County, worth Ksh1.2 billion which had been grabbed by private developers.
The Island is gazetted as a marine reserve and national monument of historical and cultural interest.
According to EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, the land was stolen through collusion involving public officials and private developers under the guise of a squatter settlement scheme.
Mbarak visited the land accompanied by several Kwale leaders including Governor Fatuma Achani and Senator Issa Boy who termed the milestone as significant in addressing the widespread land-grabbing problem in the coast region.
The grabbed land was subdivided into 49 parcels and allocated to ghost squatters, who later sold it to private developers.
In her judgment in the recovery suit delivered on October 2, 2023, Lady Justice Addreya Dena of the Kwale Environment and Land Court nullified all the transactions leading to the land transfers and ordered the Kwale District Land Registrar to cancel all illegal entries in the Register.
Mbarak warned against re-grabbing of the recovered Island.
"With the instant recovery, the Kaya shrines at Chale Island have been restored to the Kwale community to rebuild their cultural identity. Similarly, the preservation of Chale Island as a marine national reserve will continue under the Kenya Wildlife Service," EACC stated.