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Judicial officer, Mombasa tycoons drawn into Nyali school land row

By Willis Oketch | Jan 20th 2022 | 2 min read


Nyali School chairperson Benjamin Gitonga (left) and others at Kenya School of Government in Mombasa County yesterday during a public hearing before the National Land Commission. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

A judge and some Mombasa tycoons are among 14 private developers allegedly allocated public land in Mombasa. 

Yesterday the National Land Commission (NLC) public inquiry committee was told that the private developers were illegally allocated the land belonging to Nyali Primary School.

According to parents at the school, the land had been earmarked for the construction of a community school.

Through their lawyer Major (Rtd) Moses Waweru they asked the committee to revoke the title deeds issued to the 14 developers because they were located on public land.

Mr Waweru told the committee that the school was allocated the land 40 years ago to put up a secondary school.

“The parcel of land number 6542 section 1 mainland North is adjacent to the primary school and was allocated for the construction of Nyali Secondary school, a public school for the benefit and education of Kenyans children,” he said.

Submitting chronological events about the school’s land before NLC Inquiry Commission chaired by NLC Vice Chair Abigael Mbagaya at Government Training Institute in Mombasa, Waweru said the land in question was allocated to the school on October 1, 1982.

The inquiry was convened by NLC to listen to historical injustices meted against several people in the region after the school board chairman Benjamin Gitonga raised the alarm.

Among the cases which were heard included squatters living in Kenya Airport Authority land at Ukunda Airport in Diani.

The case did not proceed after the Kenya Airport Authority lawyer from COTOOW advocates objected to any proceeding touching on the case as the matter was before the court where squatters have sued KAA for issuing notice to have them evicted.

However, the Nyali Primary school case proceeded where Waweru insisted government officials had targeted the school land despite records showing the land belongs to the school.

“We duly accepted the allotment and paid the sum of Sh4,772 and were issued with receipt No. E362729 dated December 21, 1982,” said Waweru.

But through his lawyer Augustine Wafula, the judge denied any wrong doing.

Wafula said his client bought the plot from another vendor after doing due diligence and confirmed the land legally belonged to the vendor before buying it.

Former Lamu Governor Issa Timamy is among the lawyers representing several companies and individuals laying claim over the school land.

Other owners of the plots denied the claims through their lawyers insisting the land they occupy belongs to them and not the school.

Waweru claimed that the school board had extremely worked hard despite the continuous onslaught by some people who were bent to ensure they take away the school’s land.

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