Nearly all the 26 acres on which President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a Sh460 million waterfront regeneration project on Monday have been grabbed.
The National Land Commission (NLC) said only six acres remain of Mama Ngina Drive park in Mombasa.
“Mama Ngina drive has a total 26 acres, but 13 parcels comprising 20 acres have since been hived off and allocated to private developers between 1985 and 2012. Two parcels have been fenced off,” said NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri.
It is unclear whether this will affect the waterfront regeneration project launched by the President, but NLC has vowed to bring down perimeter walls erected on parts of the park and restore it to the public.
Dr Swazuri spoke when he led officials from the commission, Mombasa County and Lands ministry to put 13 beneficiaries of the public land on a three-month notice to surrender their title deeds.
Speaking at the site, Swazuri said his team would camp in Mombasa to repossess the public park on orders of the President.
On Monday, Uhuru directed NLC and the Lands ministry to recover any part of the park that might have been grabbed.
Swazuri, however, explained that apart from the two fenced plots, the rest of the land had been accessible to holiday makers despite being in the hands of private individuals and firms.
“The law allows us to give notice to land owners to come forward with documents and explain how they acquired the parcels,” Swazuri said.
Mombasa County executive committee member for Lands Edward Nyale said his department had received complaints on the matter.
“The two fenced plots fall under the Mama Ngina regeneration project master-plan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Swazuri announced that the commission would repossess 37 plots grabbed from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) along the coastline.
“Our notices to the private developers who illegally acquire 37 KPA parcels have expired and we will now move into action,” he said.