Former Cabinet Minister and Kitui County Assembly Speaker George Ndotto is fighting for control of prime land in Kitui town issued to him during the late President Daniel Moi’s regime.
Mr Ndotto said that he was allocated the land in 1989 by the late President Moi while serving in cabinet during the Kanu era but declined to show proof of ownership of the one-acre piece of land being contested by Nairobi based businessman Dr. Isaac Kalua.
The one acre prime plot is situated along Kitui – Nairobi highway, opposite the Kitui GK Prison. Detectives in Kitui have launched investigations following the Monday demolition of a perimeter wall on the disputed plot by hired goons.
Shortly after the demolition, Ndotto arrived at the scene telling the press that he is the rightful owner of the parcel and could not withstand eviction from his property.
On the other hand, Kitui Central DCI Officer Nzioka Singi said that detectives are investigating the acts of lawlessness, as the courts and the Ministry of Lands determine the ownership dispute. “A complaint was launched against the Speaker and his agents by an employee of Checker Oil Products who filed documents to proof their plot was illegally occupied by other people,” said Mr Singi on Tuesday.
“I have been a Cabinet Minister in this country and I was given this land by the late President himself during one of his tours in Kitui, so any other action to the contrary is illegal and will be challenged,” a visibly angry Ndotto said.
The dispute of the property plot number Kitui Municipality Block 1/658 was originally allocated to George Ndotto on June 22, 1989 but records at the Land Registrar indicates that the allottee neither accepted the offer nor paid stamp premium or requisite fees. “The letter of offer was withdrawn by the Commissioner of lands for lack of acceptance and failure to pay the requisite legal fees,” reads a report from Ministry of Lands dated December 31, 2019 seen by KNA.
The report from Department of Lands notes that Checker Oil Products vide a letter dated January 21, 1998 applied for the plot which had remained undeveloped for long and was issued an allotment letter on June 25, 1998.
The status report of the disputed plot said that Ndotto’s allotment was cancelled on June 22, 1998 since he did not meet the conditions of allotment.
Dr. Kalua, on behalf of Checker Oil Products Ltd, paid all the prerequisite fees, a survey was done and a sealed Registry Index map was signed by the Director of Survey on June 30, 2006 and a certificate of lease issued on May 23, 2018.
The report signed by P N. Muriithi, Deputy Chief Land Registrar further states, “Other than President Moi’s alleged verbal instruction, there are no records at the Land Ministry to support Mr George Ndotto ownership to the plot. He does not possess a certificate of lease for the land and is therefore not the legal owner. He is squatting on the land without any title deed to support his ownership,” the Ministry’s report concludes.
Following years of hearing the dispute, Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has reportedly directed Kitui County Land Registrar to expunge any other Parcel Files from the Land Registry records.
by Yobesh Onwong’a