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Government declares war against land encroachment

The national government has put in place plans to ensure the reacquisition of encroached public land.

Stating that any form of encroachment on public land would not be tolerated at all costs, Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome said the government was in the process of collecting data of all the public land reportedly grabbed, to launch a recovery mission.

Speaking in Trans Nzoia where she led a team from the Ministry to tour Kitale Prison land which has reportedly been grabbed, Wahome revealed that plans were underway to ensure issuance of a title to Kitale Medium Prison land.

The CS revealed that out of 159 acres of Kitale Medium Prison Land, 135 acres had been grabbed.

“The government has so far managed to recover 96 acres as 30 remain under private developers. We are soon reclaiming the remaining part,” she said.

There had been a court case filed by a teacher Sacco to challenge ownership of the land but the case was thrown out in October 2023 in favour of Kitale Prison.

On the Kitale Main Prison land approximated to be 3000 acres, Wahome revealed that more than 2300 acres of the said piece has been grabbed.

Early last month, the government kicked off the process of reclaiming the 2300 acres by placing beacons.

The exercise saw several private facilities owned by business magnates in Kitale and some homesteads being enclosed.

By yesterday, Wahome revealed that no one had challenged the exercise in court giving the government clear room to move and reclaim the land.

The CS brushed off suggestions that the grabbers have valid titles saying that for any public property to be given to private owners, degazettement of the property is a requirement, something she said did not happen with Kitale Prison land.

“From the records in our possession, the 3000 acres in question is a government land. Those claiming to have valid titles should come forward and engage us. We are aware due procedure was not followed,” she declared.

Warning government staff in the Lands Department aiding the vice of land grabbing where fraudulent titles are awarded, Wahome said the government has set up mechanisms to bring them to book.

Accompanying the CS were Principal Secretaries Gen. Nixon Korir (State Department for Lands and Physical Planning) and Dr. Salome Beacco (State Department for Correctional Services, Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi, among others.

By Isaiah Nayika and Elizah Kimani

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