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Flower farms, hotels may lose prime lake land

RIFT VALLEY
By By Antony Gitonga | July 24th 2013

By Antony Gitonga

Naivasha,Kenya:The National Land Commission has embarked on a mission to reclaim all grabbed riparian land around Lake Naivasha.

The land includes hundreds of acres under flower farming.  The commission Chairman Dr Mohammed Swazuri directed the Naivasha land registrar to submit in two days to his office all access corridors that had been blocked by investors around the lake.

The chairman announced that they would be repossessing all grabbed utility land in Naivasha and would not be cowed by anyone irrespective of their position.

Dr Swazuri said the commission’s first target was Mombasa and later Naivasha before moving to other parts of the country. He expressed concern that flower farmers and hoteliers had grabbed riparian land and blocked access roads to the lake, a move he termed as illegal.

“We demolished a Sh300 million hotel in Mombasa as it was constructed in public land and we are in the process of repossessing City Park in Nairobi and other assets across the country,” said Dr Swazuri.

He added that hi commission has five years to repossess grabbed land, including Naivasha stadium, which he said has to be reverted back to the public as per the constitution.

Dr Swazuri at the same time hit on foreigners who owned land in the country but were opposed to the ongoing forensic exercise meant to verify genuine land documents.

“Some investors are opposed to this while others have allotment letters for settlement schemes, which is illegal and the forensic exercise will go on,” he said.

The chairman was speaking in a Naivasha hotel when he met area residents where he blamed colonial masters for the current land problems in the country. Naivasha MP John Kihagi challenged the commission to move fast and re-open all corridors.


 

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