The Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) on Wednesday ordered tycoons and senior government officials who have encroached on the corporation’s land across the country to vacate immediately.
ADC’s new special board of directors said it had established that there had been massive grabbing of its assets in various parts of the country and said those who do not surrender and vacate from the properties would be evicted.
Led by Vice-chairperson Lydia Ntimama, the board said it would not allow any more invasion of the assets, which the board noted were allocated by the government to help address the problem of food insecurity in the country.
Members of the board are on a four-day familiarisation tour of ADC properties at the Coast Region. They toured the 3,000-acre Kiswani Complex in Malimo, Kakuyuni Ward and the 900-acre Top Farm in Sabaki.
Both parcels that are situated within Magarini constituency are said to have been allocated to private individuals.
Ms Ntimama said said those who invaded their lands or forged ownership documents to claim ownership of ADC land should begin packing and leaving the properties before the board goes for them.
She said the new board had noted with concern that a lot of ADC land had been illegally allocated to individuals during the KANu era while squatters and illegal herders had also encroached the corporation’s land.
“The ADC has the mandate to provide food security in the country and those who have invaded our land must vacate immediately to allow us to deliver on our mandate,” she said.
Ironically, the ADC board named the Galana/Kulalu Food Security Project as one of the ADC farms that had been taken over without its (ADC’s) knowledge. This is despite the fact that the ADC is a government entity just like the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), which is overseeing the project’s implementation.
The ADC board claimed that currently the 1.8 million-acre parcel of land is being subdivided into parcels allocated to individuals without its knowledge despite the fact that the board is the custodian of the land on behalf of the government.
Currently, the government, through the NIA, has opened up about 5,200 acres at the model farm and expects to open another 4,800 acres to complete phase one before inviting investors to develop the rest of the land. Land survey is ongoing on the rest of the 1.8 million acres of land.
But on Wednesday, the team of 15 board members said it had been denied access to the land with claims of instructions from above.
Other areas with similar problems include Endavivi, Naivasha where only 3,000 acres of the ADC’s 42,000 acres of land still remains in ADC’s hands while the rest have been grabbed, the members said.
Stephen Kinuthia, a director, said the special board was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and vowed that they would not entertain any politician who will lead people to invade private land.
by Emmanuel Masha