Government recovers 28 parcels of land in Kisii, puts more under probe

National Lands Commission says it is in the process of recovering more than 100 leases illegally acquired under Kisii Municipality. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The government has recovered 18 land leases illegally acquired in Nyanchwa Estate in Kisii town, registered under the Ministry of Housing.

Further, the Government is in the process of recovering more than 100 leases illegally acquired under Kisii Municipality Block Three.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) is proving the acquisition of the said land by private developers.

A Government mult-agency team began the demolitions Wednesday evening.

According to a source within EACC in Nairobi, over 100 leases have been identified for repossession with several Government officials; currently serving in various departments, and those who have retired are set to be summoned by the investigative agencies in connection with the alleged land fraud.

The said land is alleged to have been grabbed by powerful individuals including politicians and senior civil servants.

Several private developers are said to have ignored warnings from the state stopping them from putting up projects that include several high-rise buildings.

The Wednesday night demolition took place after nearly two days of talks between the private developer and Government officials to spare the project failure.

A source within the Ministry of Housing said a stop notice had been issued to the developer and many others more than five years ago.

"We issued the notices and immediately notified relevant state agencies. It is clear that this is Government land and we cannot sit and watch as individuals grab such land."

The official who participated in the Wednesday demolitions told The Standard that the government will take the Mavoko land saga route and invite several officials to record statements with the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and EACC.

The government officials are said to have been involved in the issuance of documents to several private developers.

Engineers working with the Public Works and other Senior officers from State agencies are alleged to have received kickbacks to approve fake documents and even went ahead to supervise the projects under construction.

Also put into the spotlight are Judicial officers who could have given orders to favor the said unscrupulous developers. Some of the alleged fake documents and orders are dated 10 to 15 years back.

Three years ago, the Government was forced to freeze land transactions in the Nyanchwa estate and directed the National Land Commission (NLC) and Ministry of Lands to carry out document verification.

With more than 600 plots, the estate is registered as leasehold but government insists investors have lost millions because of double registration of title deeds.

The Ministry of Lands officials say that there is no more space for private development in the area following unprecedented growth in real estate in the past five years.