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National Land Commission wades into cement firm's land dispute

By Peterson Githaiga | Aug 3rd 2015 | 2 min read
NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri (right) being shown around the disputed land between the East African Portland Cement Company and members of Aimi A Lukenya Self Help Group. He is with the company’s MD Kepha Tande (second right) and Athi River Deputy County Commissioner Alias Makori (second left). [PHOTO: PETERSON GITHAIGA/STANDARD]

The National Land Commission (NLC) has stepped in to resolve a long running land dispute between the East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) and a dozen groups in Athi River, Nairobi.

Last week, NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri toured the disputed 1,300-acre land in Athi River.

Swazuri directed members of Aimi A Lukenya self-help group that also claims ownership of the land to submit all title deeds for the controversial land to the commission’s offices in Nairobi with immediate effect.

The chairman of the group, Julius Mutua, told the commission that the piece of land belonged to their members who he explained acquired it from the late Daglas Haroud in 1930. “This land was handed over to our fathers, who are already dead. We will fight for it to the end,” Mutua said, showing a title deed.

EAPCC advertised the sale of the 1,300 acre land on September 2010, triggering emergence of questionable groups that have been collecting funds from prospective buyers.

Records shown to The Standard indicate that about 12 local companies and Saccos are warming up to buy the EAPCC land. But EAPCC Managing Director Kephar Tande said all the EAPCC land is under caveat emptor and nobody can sell or buy it.

“Those who have acquired the land illegally should prepare to be thrown out. Nobody has been mandated to sell any of the EAPCC land and those buying land in the name of EAPCC should prepare to face the consequences,” said Tande.

He explained that the only 163 acres of EAPCC land was sold to a local developer, Superior Homes, in September 2005 and that any other persons or entities purporting to own any of the land risk losing them.

Swazuri ordered that all other groups who wish to purchase land said to belong to the company to forward their application letters to his office for verification.

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