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Sh1bn land parcels grabbed in Nyeri, EACC

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has embarked on recovering public land grabbed by private developers within Nyeri Town valued at more than a billion shillings.

Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission Central Regional Manager Abraham Kemboi urged individuals who illegally acquired government land to surrender the title deeds citing the unlikelihood of them winning litigation in court.

Kemboi said cases of land grabbing are rampant in many counties nationally with Nyeri, Laikipia, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, and Nyandarua mostly targeted by land grabbers who encroach on public land and take possession using fake title deeds.

He said about 60 parcels of land within Nyeri town reserved for government houses have been grabbed and the matter is being addressed by the court.

The EACC regional manager added that the grabbers also target land in big towns like Nanyuki where they even attempted to evict security personnel from a police station.

Kemboi was speaking in Nyeri when he welcomed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials who were in Nyeri to monitor the progress of the county in implementing the commission’s recommendations on prevention of corruption in various departments.

EACC Deputy Director in-charge of corruption prevention Neema Mkorori said the mandate of the Commission is to combat and prevent corruption, economic crime and unethical conduct in Kenya through law enforcement, prevention, public education, promotion of standards and practices of integrity, ethics and anti-corruption.

“We are interested in recovering those parcels of land. If you like, the conservative value of what we are trying to recover is well over a billion shillings,” said Mkorori.

The team later chaired a consultative meeting for monitoring the implementation of corruption risk assessment report’s recommendations with Nyeri Deputy Governor David Kinaniri and other county officials  who pledged support for the Commission  by the County administration to ensure all grabbed public land reverts back to the County Government so that residents can benefit from the same.

Participants discussed strategies for prevention of corruption in county operations. This is part of the Commission’s mandate to prevent corruption by undertaking systems review in any public entity, either on its own motion or on invitation by the public entity.

The assessment report is based on the recommendations that the County Government was given back in 2015 and thus the need for monitoring to establish whether they were implemented accordingly.

By Beth Ndirangu

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