State to revoke title deeds for EPZ land undeveloped for over 10 years

President William Ruto arrives at EPZ in Athi River where he opened Square Pharmaceutical factory on October 13, 2023. The government plans to expand the Athi River-based Export Processing Zone. [PCS]

Titles of land in the Export Processing Zone in Athi River that has not been developed for more than ten years will be revoked, President William Ruto has ordered.

“I have given clear instructions to the management here that all speculators, people who have held titles to pieces of land for 10 to 30 years without developing them, be revoked so that we can give it to people who want to use this facility,” Ruto said, as he directed the Ministry of Land to move with speed and revoke the titles.

The president, who spoke on Friday during a tour of Athi River where he officially opened Square Pharmaceuticals, said: “I am informed that we now have an extra 250 acres of land that were originally occupied by speculators and we can bring additional pieces of land, additional space into the manufacturing space here in EPZ, Athi River.”

He said the government plans to expand the Athi River-based Export Processing zone, with part of the land belonging to the East African Portland Cement set to be used for the planned expansion of the manufacturing zone.

‘’We are happy that we have been cleared by the court. Those who thought they would benefit by selling out this piece of land should now vacate and go. The government will purchase part of this land and construct more factories there so that our jobless youth benefit,’’ said Ruto.

The court on Monday struck out a case filed 10 years ago by Aimi Ma Lukenya Society claiming ownership of the land. 

At the heart of the battle was 4,298 acres of property owned by the cement manufacturing company.

The prime land in question, LRNo 10424, is located along the Mombasa Road, south of Athi River Township in Machakos County.

The president said Kenya imports 70 per cent of its pharmaceuticals from other countries.

‘’In five years to come, we should be able to produce our own pharmaceutical products,” he said.