Joho challenges Ruto to surrender 2,500-acre land to Coast Squatters

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho addresses locals during the Azimio la Umoja rally at Sori Karungu in Migori county on February 14, 2021. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho wants Deputy President William Ruto to forfeit 2,500 acres in Taita Taveta County that he got as a gift.

Joho said Ruto should surrender the land to squatters because he got it while serving as a public officer.

“Ruto himself announced that he got the 2,500 acres as a gift. In line with government regulations, Ruto is a public officer and should surrender such a gift to the State for distribution to Taita Taveta residents. It is State property and he should return it for public use,” he argued.

Addressing a rally in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, Joho said he would repossess all irregularly allocated land if he becomes the Lands Cabinet secretary.

“I want to caution all those who benefited from irregular allocation of land that they should prepare to surrender the property to the government,” Joho said.

On port operations, he said Ruto had supported the transfer and he could not go back on his word, adding that there were audio recordings to support his claims.

Ruto advocated for the transfer of the port operations to Nairobi and Naivasha and he cannot deny that,” Joho said.

He played the audio recordings in Malindi and Ganze in Kilifi County during rallies to drum up support for Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga and Kilifi governor aspirant Gideon Mung’aro.

He was accompanied by Mung’aro, Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo, Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi and Kilifi Woman Representative Gertrude Mbeyu.

During a Kenya Kwanza rally in Taveta town on Monday, Taita Taveta Woman Rep Lydia Haika defended Ruto over the controversy surrounding his vast farm at Mata location in Taveta Sub-County.

Ms Haika wondered why the DP was the only one who was targeted, yet there were many prominent Kenyans who owned vast parcels of land.

“We should also ask those who own land here in the county how they got such investment instead of targeting only the DP,” said Haika.

The rally was addressed by Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula and Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader Alfred Mutua.

The DP steered clear of the matter.

Yesterday, Mung’aro pledged to resolve historical land problems and streamline education and health services in the county.

Chonga accused Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who recently joined Ruto’s camp, of betraying Raila.

“It is wrong for a politician whose career was shaped by Raila to bolt join the rival,” Chonga argued.

Joho took issue with Ruto’s allies in the Coast region for claiming that his appointment to the Lands docket was insignificant.

“It is wrong for anyone to say that the Lands docket is not important to the Coast region and that what is needed is a policy. Let me tell them that policies are made by people and I am different from those who have served in that docket in the past,” Joho.