Court allows state to take over Kenyatta University land

Kenyatta University main entrance. [File, Standard]

An Environment and Lands Court has allowed the government to take up the 410 acres of Kenyatta University land.

This was after Justice Oscar Angote dismissed a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya, seeking to challenge the takeover.

In Justice Angote's ruling, he said that the government has a good intention of taking over the land which cannot be halted.

In its application filed through lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) argued that Kinyua has no authority to initiate or carry out activities for compulsory acquisition of public land.

"The process was illegal from the beginning as pointed out by the university council chairman that the government cannot acquire the land without their consent. That is why the university was justified to resist the draconian and impunity takeover," said Abdullahi.

LSK listed Mr Kinyua, Kenyatta University Council, the Attorney General, the National Land Commission and the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning as respondents in the case.

The Kenyatta University land tussle has been going on for months and was only brought to the fore by President Uhuru Kenyatta's remarks while on a visit to Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH).

On one hand, Kenyatta University said it already had plans for developing its 1,000 acres of land.

On its part, the government proposes to sub-divide 410 of those 1,000 acres for noteworthy purposes which include setting up international health facilities.

Three weeks ago, the government was stopped from hiving off the 410 acres belonging to Kenyatta University.

Justice Angote issued the order following a petition by the Law Society of Kenya challenging attempts to force the university to surrender part of the land to Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital (KUTRH), the World Health Organisation, and squatters.

"The government, its agents or anyone acting on its behalf is hereby restrained from implementing the directive issued by the Head of Public Service on July 7 for the university to surrender the land. They are also restrained from subdividing the land pending hearing of the suit," ruled the judge.

He also directed KU Council Chairman Prof Shem Migot-Adhola and Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wainana not to hand over the land's title as ordered by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on July 7.

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