A former Siaya municipal councilor has sent an appeal to the government to help him save an industrial plot from land grabbers who he alleged were using county government officials to deny him his possession.
Owala Champigny MacOnyango said that he was allocated the industrial plot number 1/R 197 by the commissioner of lands way back in 1993 after following due process but was shocked to find a nursery school operated by a nearby Catholic Church on site.
Speaking to the KNA at Mbaga in the outskirts of the Siaya town, the elderly former civic leader said that his efforts to recover the land, on which he intended to establish a soap factory, has been frustrated by unscrupulous officials who have been shielding the land grabbers.
He flashed out documents from the commissioner of lands and copies of a payment cheque made to the government for the requisite fees to prove ownership, adding that he was ready to take legal action against the encroachers and the county government should they fail to vacate his plot.
“Initially, I thought that it was the church but I have since established that my plot was secretly and illegally allocated to an organisation known as Asembo Ifabs project that has links to a Catholic priest,” said MacOnyango.
He said it was high time the national government agencies moved in to investigate corruption involving former Siaya municipal council and its successor, County government of Siaya top officials who have been illegally dispossessing innocent people of their property.
MacOnyango said that illegal allocation, where people are hoodwinked to develop plots allocated to others by the commissioner of lands was a ticking bomb that was waiting to explode in Siaya town, hence the need for investigative and anti-corruption authorities to move in and put a stop to the vice.
A resident who owns a plot next to the former councillor’s, Frank Oketch told KNA that cases where original plots allottees have found themselves at logger heads with purported new owners were rampant in the area and required government intervention.
“I almost fell a victim and was it not for my knowledge of the laws governing land matters, I would have lost out,” said Oketch.
He blamed the mess on corrupt former municipal councillors and officials who used locals’ ignorance of land matters to mint quick money.
“There is this former councillor who also serves in the current assembly who has been “dishing out” plots in town and using goons to beat up whoever challenges him,” claims Oketch adding that such people must be stopped.
By Philip Onyango