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Anti-graft agency in court to recover Sh1.8b grabbed public land

Rift Valley

EACC said it is seeking court orders declaring the transfer of the land to the two companies as illegal and null. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The anti-corruption agency has moved to court seeking orders to recover public land worth Sh1.8 billion said to have been grabbed by private developers.

In a statement, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said it has filed two separate cases at the Environment and Land Courts in Nakuru seeking to recover the two parcels of land.

The property, located off the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu Road and was allegedly bought by two developers, belongs to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO).

The EACC, in its statement, said KALRO and the said developers have been fighting over the two parcels of land measuring 53ha for some time now.

In the latest move, EACC has accused former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja of irregularly and fraudulently allocating the land to Pineapples Edge Limited and Trojan Nominees Limited. The developers are said to have snatched the land under dispute over 20 years ago.

Last year, environmentalists held a peaceful protest on the farm that also borders Lake Naivasha after a section of the corridor leading to the water body was closed down by the developer.

“In each case, the judge has issued injunction orders prohibiting the defendants from dealing with the land in any way except by way of surrender to the government,” said the statement signed EACC’s Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication Eric Ngumbi.

EACC said it is seeking court orders declaring the transfer of the land to the two companies as illegal and null.

“We are seeking a permanent injunction to be issued against the defendants, restraining them or their agents from trespassing, transferring or leasing the properties,” Mr Ngumbi said.

The commission further noted that it established that in nearly all cases, the fraudulent acquisition was orchestrated through collusion between private persons and land officials.

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