The Nakuru County government says it will not hesitate to repossess public land to facilitate infrastructure development.
While announcing plans to restore public property for construction of critical infrastructure, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that the interests of individuals could not override the interests of Nakuru residents.
Defending his administration’s move to repossess land set aside for construction of a bus park, the governor warned that he would not be intimidated nor compromised in his bid to safeguard the interests of Nakuru residents.
He accused some individuals of engaging in cheap publicity stunts by deliberately distorting the facts so as to win public sympathy.
“The occupier, who is using it as a parking yard, was informed about plans to construct the new bus terminus and issued with a notice to vacate. Our earlier efforts to access the land was thwarted by hired goons.
My administration has taken firm action and evicted the occupier as we cannot allow selfish interests of an individual to stop construction of a public utility that will not only ease congestion in the town but create employment,” noted the governor.
Mr. Kinyanjui defended his enforcement team against accusations of vandalising property during the eviction adding that the County administration would not be drawn into ‘cheap publicity stunts and sympathy seeking antics’.
We have a duty to safeguard public interest and will not be intimidated, compromised or allow any obstruction in execution of our mandate. In the past we have issued amnesty to individuals to return illegally acquired public land or have it forcefully taken away from them,” stated the governor.
Last year, the county government embarked on the process of identifying all grabbed pieces of public land, with a view of repossessing them.
In July of the same year, The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) handed back to the county several parcels of land that were illegally allocated to individuals.
Governor Kinyanjui had then expressed concern over illegal sale of several plots previously owned by local authorities and the government by corrupt officials.
“Some corrupt individuals allocated themselves and their cronies public land meant for expansion of urban centres across the county,” said Kinyanjui.
He said the county government is open to have those who acquired the plots irregularly give them up on their own volition but will resort to legal means if they become defiant.
The governor said the sale of the public land had impeded setting up of public utilities, with land having to be sourced from elsewhere to facilitate the same.
By Jane Ngugi