300 tycoons probed over Sh10b land grab
SEE ALSO :EACC arrests ex-deputy Auditor GeneralThe anti-graft boss said although the process of recovering the stolen land and other assets was long and taxing, as the title deeds could only be cancelled after a court process, the campaign had started bearing fruit. “Some people have come to us in confidence. They are surrendering their plots after realising that we are closing in on them. They have pleaded with us not to expose them to public ridicule. That is why they do not want to contest the ownership in court,” Twalib said. So far, the commission has recovered a prime piece of land worth Sh2 billion in Nairobi’s Milimani area, which had been grabbed from the University of Nairobi. “We have also recovered another plot in Nairobi’s Woodley Estate in Kilimani, valued at Sh1 billion and another parcel grabbed from Race Course Primary School valued at Sh700 million,” he said. In Nakuru, four blocks of land worth Sh69 million, which had been appropriated from the defunct Nakuru Municipality Council, have also been recovered.
SEE ALSO :Ex-deputy AG in fraud caseThe land was transferred to an unnamed individual in 2009 via an allotment letter for a term of 45 years. Documents from the Department of Lands, Nairobi, dated November 13, 2009, which are in our possession, read: “RE: unsurveyed Quarry Plot-North Kaputiei (Kajiado): Letter of Allotment. I have the honour to inform you that the government on behalf of Ol Kejuado County Council hereby offers you a grant of the above shown plot… subject to your normal written acceptance of the following conditions...” The area of the land is approximated to be 242.81 hectares or 607 acres and the unnamed benefactor is supposed to pay a standing premium of Sh12,233,000 and a further annual rent of Sh246,600 for 45 years. This means the nameless benefactor will have paid the government Sh12.3 million in 45 years, the time the lease is supposed to be in effect. A decade before PK Kahaho was signing away the quarry on behalf of the Commissioner of Lands, part of the same land was registered in the name of a local elder.
SEE ALSO :Sh49m gone but no schoolIronically, when the scandal erupted, Kahaho wrote a detailed letter explaining that the Stoney Athi Quarry land was legitimately owned by KRC. Never sold Documents show that in the second instance, the individual was given 37.73 hectares (94.325 acres), which he subdivided into five portions of between 20 hectares (50 acres) and five acres whose mutation maps were registered on January 11, 1999. However, former Kaputiei Councillor Julius Lenin Taiya, who was the chairman of the now-defunct Ol Kejuado County Council around this period, denied any knowledge of the the quarry being allocated to an individual. “This land was surrendered to the local community through the county council. They even gave us a title deed. It is surprising that somebody claims to have a title,” Taiya said. There is also the puzzle of Taiya, who is listed as the registered owner of LR Kajiado Kaputiei North/13780, which the KRC records indicate has since been subdivided into smaller plots and titles issued. “I still have the title deed to my 20 acres. I have never sold or subdivided it. If there is somebody claiming to have other title deeds to this land, they must be fraudsters. Theirs are useless papers,” Taiya said. He said at one time he wanted to develop the land but the local community was very hostile. [Additional reporting Roseline Obala and Cyrus Ombati]
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