Mombasa man surrenders grabbed land to government

A Mombasa man has surrendered a parcel of land along Tom Mboya Avenue, Mombasa County to the government.

Harith Swaleh surrendered the piece of land valued at Sh18 million which he is said to have grabbed in 1997.

Investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) revealed that Swaleh had the land transferred to his name by Wilson Gachanja on November 12, 1997.

Gachanja was the then commissioner of Lands, and EACC says that by the time of the transfer, the piece of land was not available for alienation since it had been listed as public land.

EACC says that Gachanja acted in breach of public trust to oversee the transfer of the land that was part of the road reserve.

They filed a case on November 26, 2007, seeking to recover the land. They sued Swaleh and Wilson Gachanja in his capacity as Lands Commissioner.

Swaleh then reached out to the EACC seeking an out of court settlement and voluntarily surrendered the land.

Justice Nelly Matheka of the Environment and Land Court in Mombasa recorded the recovery consent under the terms that Swaleh surrenders the land.

She also ordered the Director of Survey to cancel any records created on the same property and have the land returned to its original purpose of a road reserve.

She ordered the Mombasa Land Registrar to rectify any cancellation of any leases that may have been registered on the land.

A permanent injunction was then issued against Swaleh, its agents, servants, and employees restraining them from trespassing, leasing, transferring and wasting the suit property.