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EACC steps up efforts to repossess grabbed public land

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has scaled up measures to repossess seized public land in Kisumu.

EACC Western Regional Manager Abraham Kemboi said the purge targets all parcels of public land, developed and undeveloped, that have been illegally transferred to individuals.

Mr. Kemboi said the exercise targets playgrounds, waterways, sewerage lines, public schools, markets, and land meant for public utilities that has been grabbed.

To fast-track the process, EACC, he disclosed, was working with the land office and the county government of Kisumu to identify some of the affected parcels.

The drive comes after the successful repossession of Taifa Park land within Kisumu Central Business District and the High Court land which had been grabbed.

“Kisumu like other parts of the country, has very stubborn land grabbers. But I want to assure you nobody can grab land meant for public use and get away with it,” he said.

“The law on public land is very clear. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the land remains public until the end of time unless disposed of through a procedure known in law,” he said.

Through partnership with the Kisumu City Management, he said EACC has embarked on the repossession of Kibuye Market land, whose title deed is in private hands.

The private developers had moved to court to bar the county government from developing the market, which is the largest open-air market in East and Central Africa.

EACC, he said, has filed a petition seeking to be enjoined in the case, adding that no effort shall be spared until the land reverts back to the public.

Speaking at City Hall in Kisumu during a meeting between EACC and the County Executive Committee on corruption prevention, Kemboi said several other cases were under investigation and the files would be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for action.

By Chris Mahandara

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