Kenya Prisons moves to repossess Kitale land after Ruto order

Security officers yesterday moved to repossess 2,700 acres of public land allegedly hived from Kenya Prisons Services in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

This comes barely two weeks after President William Ruto ordered the repossession of the land illegally allocated to private individuals.

During the operation led by Deputy Commissioner of Prison Charles Mutembei, inmates and prison wardens helped to erect the beacons on the repossessed land.

Kitale West Sub-county OCPD Patrick Gaitarira and his Kwanza counterpart James Odera were part of senior police officers in the operation.

Some areas where the beacons were erected included Wamuini, Kephis, Mali Tatu, Top Station Primary, Mitambo and Annex.

The high presence of the officers brought business to a standstill at Villagers Inn, Mitambo and Wamuini as panic hit the region.

Mutembei declined to comment on the exercise, saying they were only implementing a government directive.

Irregularly acquired

A local, Jackson Muganda, urged the government to consider compensating individuals who had bought land from those who irregularly acquired the parcels.

Successive governments have been unable to resolve the Kitale Prison land grab, which has also hindered the ambitious expansion programme of Kitale town.

In 2017, National Land Commission unsuccessfully gave a three-month eviction notice to individuals who had encroached on the Prison land.

The grabbing of public land, including the Prison land in Kitale, is well documented in the Ndungu report.

A report delivered in Parliament names 424 individuals and entities, including State firms and children’s homes that have been accused of acquiring Kenya Prisons land in Kitale.

Part of the land in question has serious developments, including rentals, apartments and homes, churches and other private facilities.