The family of a former army commander is set to lose a large chunk of land as the State prepares to repossess more than 23,000 acres formerly owned by the National Youth Service.
The families of General James Lenges, former police commissioner Philip Kilonzo, former spymaster William Kivuvani, former Yata MP Gideon Mutiso, NASA co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, Bishop Arthur Kitonga of the Redeemed Gospel Church, and former KBC managing director Caxton Munyoki are some of the casualties of the repossession.
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Former Army Commander
The family of Lenges is set to lose 7,420.33 hectares (about 18,550 acres) of land in the expansive Laikipa County that was allocated during the Kanu regime.
Kalonzo, on the other hand, may lose 65.60ha (about 200 acres) from his 500 acre-Yatta farm in Machakos County.
The current Yatta MP, Charles Kilonzo, is another casualty as their family's land, which is near Kalonzo’s home, is targeted for repossession. His father, who served as the country’s police commissioner, was allocated 241.2ha (about 600 acres).
Kivuvani, a former head of intelligence, owns 25.36ha (about 60 acres) while Bishop Kitonga has about 260 acres listed in two parcels - 72.43 ha (180 acres) and 77.39 (about 193 acres).
Former National Social and Security Fund (NSSF) boss Samuel Watuka Muindi too is listed as owning 63.38ha (about 160 acres) while property dealer David Masika of Lloyd Masika Limited has 81.36ha (about 200 acres).
Mr Munyoki has 20.20ha (about 50 acres) while another person listed as Viola Munyoki has 4.044 ha (about 10 acres).
On Monday, the National Land Commission (NLC), the body legally mandate to manage public land, said it was preparing a Gazette notice to commence the revocation of the titles.
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"If you are occupying NYS land, please surrender it now. We have prepared a notice which will be published by Wednesday in the papers. It’s now with the Government printer,” the NLC chairman, Muhammad Swazuri, said.
Last week, NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai published a public notice asking 62 listed individuals to return the land within two weeks voluntarily, failing which it would be repossessed at their cost.
“This is, therefore, to notify the individuals and/or entities and the public that the de jure registered owner of the said parcels is the National Youth Service. The department, therefore, does not recognise any claim whatsoever that any individual or entity has over the said parcels of land.”
Ndubai’s directive came only a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the immediate repossession of all grabbed NYS land.
“We must ensure that we recover all the land that was owned by NYS and taken by people in various parts of the country. That land can be put to use to train those among you desirous to move into agriculture,” Uhuru said on February 1 at the NYS Textile and Garment Institute in Ruaraka when he launched the NYS ‘Tuko Tayari’ (We are Ready) campaign.
Last week, Kalonzo dismissed the demand to return the land, terming the move as a witch-hunt and saying he had legally acquired the land after he obtained a loan to buy it from the persons who had been originally allocated the parcel.
He said he would challenge the order in court. “It is serious witch-hunt which we must fight. We are already looking at it.”
In 2016, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua sensationally claimed in Parliament that Kalonzo had used his position as vice president to grab an extra 200 acres.
Dr Mutua produced documents regarding land registered as LR 22278 and IR 130409 in Mavoko municipality, Machakos County, registered under Desiral Ltd. The firm was registered in the name of Kalonzo and his wife, Pauline.
LR 22278 is listed as having been owned initially by Kamelot Farm Limited, which has a second plot, LR 22279 of 62.55ha (about 156 acres).
Thirty-five individuals who were said to have worked with NYS in the 1990s or the civil service were allocated about 10 acres each.
Others listed as beneficiaries include Machakos Funeral Home with 64.58ha (about 160 acres), Machakos Ranch Limited (134 acres), Michael Ngunzi (36 acres), Pastev Holdings Limited with three parcels amounting to about 200 acres, Mukunga Agencies (375 acres), Park Mansions (202 acres), Fleflesh Ltd (200 acres), Robestan Company (202 acres), Mike Kiswili (88 acres), Justus G. Wambutura (107 acres), and a Dr Musao (200 acres).