The government has ordered an investor to stop forthwith any further construction of an LPG gas filling station on a plot purportedly owned by Kenya Railways Corporation at Sagana town, Kirinyaga County.
The project is located on a one acre plot where the said investor Gitahi Mungai from Othaya in Nyeri County said he has been leased for Sh.20, 000 per month for a period of 15 years by the Corporation.
The facility is being set up next to the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) mills and go- downs and also close to the Sagana Aquaculture Research Center.
Over the weekend, a team of senior government officers from the relevant departments and agencies stormed the facility on learning there was a private developer on the ground without their knowledge as required by the constitution when it comes to developments of such magnitude.
The team led by the Kirinyaga County Deputy Commissioner, Daniel Ndege ordered the developer to stop any works until he produced all the necessary documents related to the leasing of the land.
A shaken Mungai who rushed to the site on learning the team was on the ground, claimed he had been ambushed by the team, and as such should be given enough time to look for the documents and present them for perusal and authentication.
“I have all the relevant documents indicating a clean process of how the Kenya Railways Corporation leased me this land for 15 years at the rate of Sh20, 000 per month and these documents have been signed by the Corporation’s Managing Director, Mr. Philip Mainga,” the investor claimed.
Mungai trading as Vailcom Oil (K) limited has hired the services of George Muthuri as its Civil Engineer for the ongoing construction of a perimeter wall of the project, according to a sign post erected at the site as required.
The developer said as long as he had the documents from the Corporation which has leased the ground for him, he does not see where the National Government within the county was coming in.
“My lease has been processed from high above the County level and I do not see why you are coming to interfere with this project,” Mungai told the team.
But Ndege reminded the developer that with devolution in place and the land being held in Trust by the Corporation on behalf of Kenyans, the national government on the ground has legal and moral authority to question anything that might appear suspect.
A representative of the National Land Commission (NLC), representative in the County, MS Grace Wairagu who was present said her office was not aware of the leasing.
The developer did not produce any land rates receipts paid to the county government.
Mungai told the team a beautiful lady at the county government stamped his documents authorizing him to carry on with the project.
The CEC for Land, Revered Murimi Kanjobe who was present also denied having been notified of neither the project nor the land lease.
“Who gave the Kenya Railways authority to lease land in Kirinyaga without consulting the county government, if there is anything like that , the matter must be addressed with urgency; Kanjobe said.
He said Governor Ann Waiguru was in consultation with other governors in Mt. Kenya region for the revamping of the railway and the land in question is in the service line for the station.
The National Government has demanded to see all documents from its relevant agencies for authentication.
By Irungu Mwangi