Governor Lenku denies link to disputed Sh100b Kibiku community land

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku when he appeared before the National Assembly's Lands Committee. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

National Assembly Lands committee will today visit the disputed 2,800 acres Keekonyokie Community Trust land in Ngong town, Kajiado County for which two factions are holding different ownership documents.

Committee chairperson Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango MP) will lead members on a fact finding mission on the Kibiku land said to be worth Sh100 billion.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku appeared before the committee on Thursday and said the two factions were pulling in different directions despite agreeing to have the land sub-divided among members. He called for speedy resolution of the dispute.

"The two camps that claim ownership of the Keekonyokie Community Trust land have submitted different lists of beneficiaries with one led by Moses ole Monik inserting names of top national government officials including my name in the list," said Lenku.

The governor denied being a beneficiary of the land arguing that his name and that of others were inserted to sanitise the list. However, the committee demanded to know the action he has taken against the officials for putting his name in the list submitted to the Ministry of Lands.

Lenku told the committee that upon realising his name was listed, he instructed the county lawyer to file for defamation and the process is ongoing to clear his name.

The committee was told the Monik group possesses the Certificate of Incorporation while the second faction led by Moses ole Parantai has the title deed, with both camps claiming to be legitimate officials of the Keekonyokie Community Trust that owns 2,800 acres of land.

"The Monik group has been telling us that they will take care of us, we are not interested because we are not even members of the Keekonyokie Community Trust, the community members know each other very well and there is no room for outsiders to legally get land there," said Lenku.

The committee was shocked at the confusion surrounding the property, which has attracted attention of land merchants due to its high value and soil fertility with the Vice Chairperson Jayne Kihara (Naivasha MP) calling for intervention to resolve the dispute.

The MPs agreed to expunge names of top officers at the National Land Commission and the Independent Police Oversight Authority who had been named as having aided the Monik group to submit its list to the Ministry of Lands for issuance of title deeds without the consent of the county government.

Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai asked for their names to be expunged from the report as the allegations were serious enough to even lead to their removal from office.

"We would like to know the role of the National Lands Commission in the private land since they are not supposed to be involved, if the sub division had gone ahead many genuine owners of the community land could have lost out," said Nyamai.

Lenku said the two camps claiming leadership of the Keekonyokie Community Trust hold the key to conclusion of the matter and he had met both groups in his office to unlock the stalemate where they were asked to provide a list of the beneficiaries.

"Some officials promised us plots and introduced mischief and even put our names and other leaders as beneficiaries to sanitise the list, I don't belong to Keekonyokie Community and therefore I cannot benefit from the land, people there know themselves," he said.

He said the county government had raised a red flag and published a caveat emptor after realising a list had been submitted to the Lands Ministry for processing of title deeds and their role was to protect the interests of the public.