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Official vows stern action against land grabbing cartels

By Bakari Ang'ela | Published Fri, January 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 11th 2018 at 23:23 GMT +3
Tullow Oil Company, one of Turkana’s most prized possessions. [Photo by Joan Letting]

The planned construction of the Kitale-Lodwar-South Sudan road has heightened speculation on the price of land in the region, an official has warned.

This has given rise to cartels that are grabbing land in the hopes of selling at higher prices, according to County Lands Executive Ester Lokwee.

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"Cartels have emerged and are busy grabbing land, which they later sell to non-residents at exorbitant prices," said Ms Lokwee.

"There are people grabbing land for their masters. They have taken advantage of the road construction to grab land, especially along the highways," she added.

"Some people have claimed the Government is grabbing land. Such comments are wrong and irresponsible. This is the work of cartels."

Ease transportation

Turkana Central Deputy County Commissioner Alexander Mutivo said they would deal with the land grabbers.

The new road is meant to ease transportation of oil. The national government intends to transport at least 2,000 barrels of oil daily to the Mombasa Refinery.

Transportation of oil to Mombasa had been scheduled to begin last May.

However, the plan was pushed forward because of the poor state of the road from Kitale and Lokichar.

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Failure to pass laws to guide the sharing of oil proceeds between the national government and host counties has also contributed to the delay.

Railway International Construction Company and Chong Lying China International Construction companies will build the road and have already reported to the site.