Ethics and Anti-corruption commission has recovered over 800 acres of land that had been grabbed by traders and institutions in Naivasha and handed the land to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO).
The commission’s South Rift Regional Manager Hassan Khalid noted that the land worth about Sh.9B belonged to the research institution and was grabbed in the 1990s by powerful individuals who served in former regimes.
This emerged when the commission toured the land located off the Nairobi- Nakuru highway though details emerged that there was pending court cases over some of the parcels of land.
Khalid termed the recovery as a major breakthrough of government assets acquired illegally by unscrupulous individuals adding that part of the land was recovered through revocation of title deeds through a gazette notice while others were returned to the research institution after their owners agreed for an alternative process.
“KALRO has been limited in terms of space to carry out its research work yet they had expansive land they can use only for it to be in the hands of private individuals who were doing business with it,” he said.
He said the government had constituted a multi-agency team to investigate and recover all public grabbed land with a view of returning the same to the relevant state departments.
The manager said EACC was working with the Ministry of Lands and the National Lands Commission with a view to fast track investigations into the massive public land grabbing in the country.
Khalid added though part of the land was already developed, it was now up to KALRO to know how best to deal with the situation after holding talks with those occupying the land.
Khalid at the same time said they had recovered several houses worth Sh. 57M being occupied by civilians in Nakuru town.
He said the 27 houses were awarded to government retirees by former powerful MPs in 1997 and have now been returned to the department of Housing.
“We are going round this region recovering all what belonged to the government and those occupying land or any property the time to move out is now,” he said.
Khalid further said five more parcels of land worth Sh.11.9M that were meant for the construction of various stadia in Bomet county had been taken and returned to the county government after their titles were revoked by the commission.
By Esther Mwangi and Briab Kamau