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State to repossess grabbed land in Western Kenya

The government is seeking to repossess all public land that has been illegally acquired by private developers in the Western region.

Western Regional Commissioner (RC) Samson Irungu Macharia has issued a warning, adding that the government has marked all its land in Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, and Bungoma counties, and anybody who has encroached has been ordered to vacate with immediate effect or face forceful eviction.

The warning came in the wake of demolitions in Kakamega’s posh Milimani estate, where several private high-end buildings have been demolished and the land repossessed for public use.

Macharia said the exercise is being undertaken by a multi-agency team comprising technical officials from the ministry of lands, physical planning, land administration, and security agencies, among others.

The government seeks to recover 70 acres of public land in Kakamega town. Initially, demolitions targeted the land on block 3, but the exercise will be extended to the other major towns of Vihiga, Busia, and Bungoma, where similar cases of illegal land alienation of public land have also been found.

Macharia said leases on land being repossessed had either expired or had been revoked by then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and subsequentlyby they Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) through a Kenya gazette notice in 2017.

“When we asked for documents of land ownership from individuals, we found out that most of them never followed the required procedure, while others who challenged the eviction in court lost the case but defied orders to vacate,” he added.

Hence, the government intends to use the land for an affordable housing project, a key flagship project under the Kenya Kwanza Government, among other projects.

By George Kaiga

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