Report exposes illegal allocation and invasion of Mavoko land

Ngwata, according to the report, was first noticed on the parcel of land situated in Mlolongo between the old Mombasa Road and the Syokimau Stream, an area that had been planned for quarry plots and allocated to business persons involved in quarrying activities after they exhausted their mining operations in Kayole, Nairobi.

The "Report on the Land Scandal in Athi River" released in 2011, was triggered by complaints to the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security regarding insecurity in Athi River largely attributed to land conflicts in 2009 and 2010.

According to the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, the complaints primarily related to outright invasion of public and private lands by individuals, "who are not genuine squatters but rather organised groups in a well calculated move to, take possession, subdivide and sell the land to unsuspecting Kenyans at astronomical prices."

And also the disposal of institutional land for various reasons without offering locals an opportunity to buy targeted private developers who put up elaborate residential and commercial estates.

In August 2011, the government stopped all land transactions in the wider Athi River, which falls under the Mavoko Municipal Council to investigate fraudulent land deals.

Then Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia declared that the ban would remain in place until the task force examining land deals in the area completes its work.

Then Nairobi Metropolitan Development Minister Njeru Githae claimed that the fraudulent land deals had been feeding organised criminal gangs in the municipality who compete to grab public and private land and sell it to unsuspecting Kenyans.

National Housing Corporation

NHC's initial allocation was 80 hectares on July 2, 1994, Ref. No. 39711/XX/III with a Deed Plan Parcel 1- LR. No. 25298.

When the survey was done, it was realised that some parts had been excised. The balance of 33.16 hectares was issued with a fresh letter of allotment Ref. No. 397711/XX/II dated April 23, 1999, by the Commissioner of Lands.

NHC made a part payment of Sh558,940 as a stand premium. However, it was realised that part of the land had been allocated by the Commissioner of Lands to a private developer leaving NHC with 12.57 hectares.

The Commissioner of Lands further issued a fresh allocation on 6/9/2005 Ref. No. 206313/22 on September 9, 2005. NHC paid the Commissioner of Lands Sh330,040 but while processing the allotment letter, it was further realised that LR No. 25298 had another letter of allotment issued to a private developer hence the processing of title of ownership to NHC was stopped.

To date, the Ministry of Lands is still investigating the double allocation of the land. Notably, NHC does not own any land as of now but continued paying Sh888,980 to the Commissioner of Lands who issued the same land to private developers.

"The Commissioner of Lands is responsible for the double allocations. The Commissioner of Lands collected quite a substantial amount of money while knowing very well that the same parcel of land had been allocated to private developer(s)," read the report.

The task force indicated that the Commissioner of Lands had a responsibility to resolve the ownership dispute and expedite the issuance of the title to NHC to enable the corporation to undertake the desired housing development. In parcel two, NHC bought land from Agriculture Syndicate Ltd and NHC- LR No. 10426/81 IR 126719 (155 Acres) at a cost of Sh822 which was paid in two instalments

However, during the processing of the title from Agriculture Syndicate Ltd to NHC, they realised that the same parcel was being claimed by other parties including locals with no documents available, and a group of Maasais also with no documents.

Kibwezi Mining (2002) Company Ltd have a copy of title LR. No. 10426/81 IR 143032 measuring 60.56 hectares and Richard Mwalili Mulu and Joseph Mwalili having a certificate of title LR No. 10426/29/3 and IR 105259 measuring 157.5 hectares. The task force advised NHC to complete payment of the balance amounting to Sh272 million in order to expedite the process of ownership of the said parcel of land.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA)

A grant was issued for LR No. 21919 measuring 4,674.6 Hectares (Ha) on 1/8/1996. However, there was a variance in the area surveyed and that which was reserved for the development of the airport.

In 2002, a re-survey was done by the Director of Surveys to correct the variance and subsequently KAA surrendered the title for LR No. 21919 was issued with a new grant for LR No. 24937 measuring 4,398.7 Ha giving a variance of 275.9 hectares.

Out of the 1600 acres of illegally acquired land, 400 acres which had been taken by Mlolongo Brothers (LR. No.14231) and Uungani Settlement Scheme Self Help Group (LR No. 13512) were taken back after the demolition in 2011.

Numerical Machining Complex

The ownership of the Numerical Machining Complex (NMC) is composed of Kenya Railways at 51 per cent and the University of Nairobi at 49 per cent. According to the report, in 1992, the government allocated to NMC parcel number LR .11895/20, IR No. 63767 land totalling 1,700 acres for developing an industrial park.

In 2001, NMC hived out 500 acres for disposal to offset an outstanding debt amounting to Sh78 million with a cabinet memo authorising the sale.

The task force report noted that out of the 500 acres, 470 acres were sold out to individuals and private companies and have since been developed.

However, 30 acres are illegally invaded by illegal land speculators, therefore, the company has not been able to provide vacant possession to the buyer. The land is being claimed by Naritoi Agency and Benrose Agency with both firms in possession of titles with the same LR number but different IR numbers.

"The remaining 1,200 acres of land have since been invaded, by some 17 self-help groups among them Mavemba and others," read the report.

NMC moved to Machakos High Court vide HCCC No. 252 of 2010 and obtained a restraining order dated December 22, 2010 against the invaders. This order has not been enforced.

It noted that some records captured show that members of the Mavemba Self Help Group were paying Sh400,000 per plot to their officials and issued with a share certificate upon payment for a land that was earmarked for the construction of a steel mill complex towards.

It urged that the officials of the self-help groups and land-buying companies involved should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted for swindling unsuspecting members of the public.

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Photos by Peterson Githaiga.