NLC says Sh2b land belongs to Kenya Railways

NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya.
The National Lands Commission (NLC) has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the ownership of contentious Sh2 billion land in Mombasa.

The letter, written by outgoing NLC Vice Chair Abigael Mbagaya says the two plots MSA/XIV/367 and MSA/XIV/374 are a property of the Kenya Railways Corporation and there had been no transfer to any third party.

The DPP has been trying to get the status of the two plots from the NLC since April last year but the Ministry of Infrastructure is yet to furnish the commission with the information needed to push the investigation forward.

Efforts by the Kenya Railways to repossess the parcels of land since 2018 have been futile, given that the line ministry had been reluctant to provide documentation to the NLC for determination of the land ownership status.

But late last month, Mbagaya, in a letter to the NLC, said, “From our investigations it is evident that the parcels referred to above belong to Kenya Railways Corporation and there is no proof of the said properties having been surrendered to the government of Kenya.”

Documents seen by the Sunday Standard show that the two parcels were acquired fraudulently through a forged lease document using a false order from former President Kibaki three weeks to the March 4, 2013 General Election.

A source at the Kenya Railways, who sought anonymity, said a clique of State officials could be colluding with land barons to delay repossession of the two prime ocean front parcels at Shimanzi Port.

In an elaborate scheme in 2011, individuals created an impression that Kenya Railways had surrendered the land to the government as a condition for giving the leases.

They then forged a certificate of lease, which was used to obtain forged titles before selling the property. The fake lease certificate was signed by a forged signature of advocate Sammy Ruwa on March 15, 2011. The grabbers also created the impression that the order to lease the land had been given by President Kibaki.

“The President of the Republic of Kenya on behalf of the Government of Kenya in consideration of the sum of Sh810,000 hereby leases to MTech Building Works, a limited liability company hereinafter called the lessee,” reads the forged lease certificate.

One of the parcels measuring 4.8 acres under the control of MTech Building Works has already been developed while the other, measuring 1.5 acres, has been sold for Sh58 million to Gold Hazel Limited.

The source said that the Assets Recovery Agency is dragging its feet in issuing a restriction on the disputed pieces of land, despite being asked to do so by the NLC and the Director of Surveys after the DPP ordered an investigation.

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National Lands CommissionNLCDirector of Public ProsecutionsKenya Railways