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Mvurya puts land grabbers on notice

Kwale County Governor Salim Mvurya has put land grabbers and speculators in the region on notice.

Mvurya said private developers were encroaching on sacred forests known as Kayas making environmental conservation and cultural preservation efforts difficult.

Kaya is a sacred forest of the Mijikenda people in the coastal region and remains places of great historical and cultural importance.

Kwale has several Kayas and two of them Kaya Tiwi and Kaya Kinondo is under threat from private developers.

Kaya Tiwi and Kaya Kinondo are situated close to the Diani beach and are seen as a prime location for new developments.

The county boss said the two prime Kayas has been registered as a national monument by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and it has become illegal to exploit or develop the area.

Mvurya condemned the action of a tycoon who, despite a court order, was still building a wall in one part of the gazetted Kaya Tiwi forest.

He said his administration has declared the sacred Kaya forests as a no go zone for anyone.

The governor noted that private developers had started encroaching on Kaya forestlands.

Mvurya who spoke on Monday when he toured a section of the Kaya Tiwi vowed to recover all the grabbed public land in the coastal county.

He decried the trend where land grabbers were now targeting public land thinking they can get away with it.

He said the law must be followed by both residents and investors in the acquisition of land anywhere in the county.

Last week the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said they are probing several suspicious land dealings by private developers.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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