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NLC moves to reclaim grabbed public land in Nakuru

The  National Land Commission (NLC) is investigating the alleged grabbing of 23 acres of public land in Menengai East Ward with a view to reclaiming it.

The  NLC  Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Swazuri  who visited the plots following a public outcry from area residents, said his commission will establish whether title deeds have been issued for the said pieces of land with a view to revoking them.

He urged the County government of Nakuru to secure the land by erecting a fence around the plots once reclaimed saying that Kenyans have an insatiable appetite for land and especially any empty space.

Swazuri  was speaking in Nakuru when he toured the seven disputed pieces of land that had been set aside for construction of a nursery school, a primary school, markets and a service station. Only one that had been set aside for the construction of a public primary school was properly utilized.

The Chairman said that the Commission was also in the process of resolving the dispute surrounding ownership of the Oljorai ranch saying that the Commission was awaiting documents on the disputed land from the relevant offices.

He further added that the Commission was working on the Isahakia farm in Naivasha and revealed that the government would use the land for construction of housing units as envisaged in the Big Four agenda.

His visit to the disputed pieces pf land comes in the wake of a spirited fight by residents of Menengai East to reclaim the grabbed land.

The residents had on Monday staged a demonstration to protest the grabbing of one of the pieces of land by a private developer who had since fenced it off.

The locals had demanded that the County government makes efforts to reclaim the grabbed land for public use.

A week ago, the area MCA, Wislon Mwangi was arraigned in a Nakuru court and charged with incitement to violence after he led a group of Menengai East residents in bringing down part of a fence that had been constructed on the said land. The case is still pending in court.

The  Rift  Valley  Regional Commissioner, Mongo Chimwaga  said that officers who facilitated the fraudulent transfer of public property to individuals would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

He said that the culture of impunity by public servants must be brought to an end by holding them to account for their action.

The Nakuru County CEC for Lands, Physical Planning and Housing, Francis Mwangi said that once the national land commission resolves the issues surrounding the grabbed land, the county government would move fast to secure and safeguard them for the residents of the affected areas.

By Jane Ngugi/Collins Ogutu

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