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Government recovers land from encroachers

Tharaka Nithi County government has started recovering public land that it had lost to encroachers.

Consequently, five houses that were illegally occupied by five families at the Chuka County Referral hospital were demolished during Christmas Day Monday.

The County government however dismissed any fears that anyone could have lost their property in the exercise because they had been served with notices to vacate the houses that had been constructed as residences for civil servants in the past.

The county Chief Officer for Lands and Housing Mbae Karuku said the notices served to the occupants had expired the previous day, adding that no property was destroyed because the occupants had only complied with the notice and had moved their valuables to safer grounds before the exercise began.

Karuku reiterated that the county government was in the process of recovering all public property in the hands of private individuals.

On his part, the Chief Officer for Medical Services Karani Riungu said some of the said occupants were people who had worked at the hospital years back and had continued to live in the houses even after retirement, while others had passed on, but bequeathed the premises to their families.

“Some people who had previously worked at the hospital had even rented their former houses to new occupants and continued to earn rent as landlords. We will build a modern hospital car park at the recovered land,” said Riungu.

The county Governor Muthomi Njuki is on record saying that some unscrupulous civil servants had continued to occupy government residences even after they left service.

“The government cannot rent land to extend public utilities, while some people continue to illegally occupy its land. The government does not give out its land to any person and anyone who is occupying such land should vacate before they are evicted,” the governor had cautioned during the recent Jamhuri Day celebrations.

By David Mutwiri

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