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EACC recovers Sh100 million land in Nakuru

EACC officials inspecting a half-acre piece of land valued at over Sh100 million, which they recovered from a private developer in Nakuru Central Business District on March 15, 2024. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered prime public land within Nakuru Central Business District (CBD), estimated to be worth more than Sh100 million.

EACC Deputy Director Corporate Affairs and Communication Eric Ngumbi said the half an acre land, adjacent to Nakuru Ardhi house and opposite the Regional Commissioner’s office was earmarked for government offices.

Ngumbi noted that the land was also set aside for the expansion of Nakuru Law Courts and labour offices.

He spoke on Monday as EACC moved to recover the property hosting offices, hotels and shops among other businesses.

Permanent and semi-permanent buildings have been constructed on the said land.

“The land was grabbed by private developers in collusion with top government officials, who in turn sold or rented it to business persons,” said Ngumbi.

He explained that EACC is currently in the process of seeking cancellation of the titles and lease certificates issued to the occupants for them to vacate the land.

“We have liaised with the land officials in Nakuru to cancel any documents pertaining the land, current occupants who are mainly traders are there illegally and will be required to vacate,” he said.

Ngumbi noted that EACC has so far recovered property worth over Sh4.2 billion in Nakuru out of which private developers have surrendered property worth Sh3.6 billion through Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“Kenyans have volunteered to  return government property they acquired illegally and we call upon all individuals owning titles for government land to surrender,” he said.

The official revealed that the anti-graft agency has filed cases in court, in a bid to recover property worth more than Sh9 billion, irregularly allocated to private developers.

Ngumbi warned government officials involved in corruption and abuse of office that the law will take its cause.

He urged public institutions to protect public land by fencing, developing or practicing agriculture to protect it from grabbers.

The EACC is also following up on recovered land to ensure it is not reallocated irregularly by ‘greedy’ land officials.

The commission assured residents that their report on grabbed government land would be treated with secrecy to avoid victimisation of those who come forward.

“Kenyans are encouraged to do due diligence before leasing any property within the county, because if the court issues a cancellation order their money spent on the property will be lost,” he said.

EACC will implement a judgement delivered on March 15, 2024, by Nakuru Environment and Land Court Judge Anthony Ombwayo.

The agency had sued Phelsey Enterprise, Shadrack Koske, administrators of the estate of Said Azubedi and former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja as defendants.

Justice Ombwayo ruled that the allocation and issuance of lease over the parcel to the defendants was null and void.

“The registration of the lease for the land and all the entries are hereby cancelled. The defendants are restrained from occupying, selling or developing the land,” he ruled.

Ngumbi further said that EACC is investigating the grabbing of property worth more than Sh10 million.

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