Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu names directors of housing firm that 'grabbed' school land

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu (left) addresses a press conference at Ardhi House in Nairobi Thursday regarding the Lang’ata Road Primary School land ownership dispute. With her is NationalLand Commission commissioner Dr Rose Musyoka. The CS said together with NLC, they will repossess all public land grabbed by private developers. [PHOTO: ANDREW KILONZI/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has revealed the four directors of the housing company alleged to have grabbed the Lang'ata Primary School playground, even as the National Land Commission (NLC) threatened to recommend legal action against them.

After days of probe trying to unmask the faces behind the Airport View Housing Limited, Ngilu Thursday produced documents from the Registrar of Companies giving details of the four, who are the registered directors, at least as at October 31, 2013.

The CS named Mandip Singh Amrit, who has 1000 shares, Harbans Singh Amrit (3,000), Kamal Prakash Amrit, (1,000) and Manjit Singh Amrit, who as at the date did not have any share, as the directors of the housing firm. According to the response that Ngilu received from the Registrar of Companies, the four were registered as using the same postal address of 45403 – 00100, with their registered offices based at Jasmine Centre on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi.

The CS said contrary to accusations levelled against her office that they were protecting the land grabbers, she only wanted to ensure she got the right information on the ownership of the housing company.

"I did not want to just name people carelessly. That is why I had to write to the Registrar to get the list of the directors," said Ngilu during a press briefing Thursday at her Ardhi House offices.

Ngilu said together with the NLC, they were going to repossess all public land grabbed by private developers, urging institutions whose property has been encroached to immediately report to the Lands office. "The greatest loser is the person in possession of a title deed that was illegally acquired. We are not going to talk to those who have grabbed land but we will only swing into action," she said.

NLC Vice Chair Abigael Mukolwe urged those who have grabbed public institutions' land to start bringing buildings down, saying the commission will swiftly move into action once such reports are filed with them.

On the Langata land, Ms Mulokwe said the commission had revoked the title deed of the housing company after finding it to be illegal. She further said they could recommend criminal prosecution or further investigation of the directors of the housing firm.

"We are given powers to revoke or regularise titles that we find were illegally acquired, but we can also recommend to CID to further investigate such a case like this or even ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute criminal proceedings against such characters," she said.

Ngilu further expressed outrage over the manner in which activists abused the rights of the pupils by urging them to take part in protests. "I am a mother and was deeply disturbed by the sight of children being tear-gassed. But questions must also be asked about the conduct of the activists who chose to use children. In their impatience and carelessness, they chose to violate the constitutional rights of the children and expose them to risk," said Ngilu.