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Corruption Does Not Pay: EACC Recovers Ksh 30 billion Worth of Grabbed Land

By Citizens Against Corruption Awareness Desk, Nairobi – April 6, 2022

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) now says it has recovered property worth Ksh.30 billion, all acquired by individuals as proceeds of graft.

The anti-graft body reclaimed land that was irregularly allocated to powerful individuals through collusion with corrupt government officials in the lands ministry.

EACC has listed at least 14 properties registered under Treasury valued at Ksh.603 million that has been recovered. Additionally, the commission has recovered a parcel of land belonging to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) worth over Ksh.2 billion.

The 227 hectares piece of land in Naivasha next to Delamere estates was meant for potato research and animal husbandry and had fraudulently been allocated to shadowy individuals. But with EACC pursuing repossession of the land, the matter was settled out of court and the titles surrendered to the government.

In Kisumu, Kenya Railways had lost 69 hectares parcel of land estimated at nearly Ksh.2 billion. The land located next to the port of Kisumu was equally settled out of court and titles surrendered as EACC stepped up surveillance on illegally acquired government property.

The commission is chasing after 21 hectares piece of land belonging to the metrological department valued at Ksh.5 billion. The land located on Mombasa Road behind Panari Hotel is said to have been allocated to a family residing in the United Kingdom. The title was repossessed and being processed by the lands ministry.

Likewise, the Kenya School of Government had lost its three plots to Julie Nyawira Mathenge. But the court established that former Land Commissioners Wilson Gachanja and James Raymond Nyaga had irregularly apportioned the land to a private citizen.

Other properties recovered include 14 properties belonging to Uasin Gishu County valued at Ksh.64 million, a parcel of land worth Ksh.30 million registered under Nakuru County, and another one belonging to Kisumu County estimated at Ksh.10 million, and three properties valued at Ksh.8 million belonging to Bomet County.

EACCc handed over 39 title deeds to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on Monday, with EACC indicating 24 other parcels of land have been recovered and their title deeds are being processed.

Meanwhile, EACC also handed over Ksh.450 million being proceeds of graft stashed in Jersey Island by former Kenya Power Managing Director Samuel Gichuru and former Finance Minister Chirs Okemo.

The repatriation of the cash comes after Kenya signed an asset and recovery agreement with Jersey authorities

EACC probes alleged grabbing of college land in Nakuru

Nakuru West residents on January 17, 2022, pull down a fence erected by land grabbers on property belonging to the Agricultural Training Center (ATC) in Nakuru.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has launched investigations into grabbing of part of land belonging to the Nakuru Agricultural Training Centre (ATC).

The college management and the County Government of Nakuru lodged a complaint with the anti-graft agency, avering that some private developers had illegally occupied part of the institution’s 130-acre land.

Last month, a group of angry students, staff and the public pulled down a perimeter fence erected around a five-acre land within the institution. The land graber who was erecting the fence fled after he was confronted by the angry mob.

Benjamin Njoroge, the county secretary and head of public service, confirmed the county had invited EACC to carry out investigations.

“We escalated the matter to EACC and asset recovery has been commissioned,” said Mr Njoroge.

In a letter dated January 19, 2022, the county government appealed to the EACC to intervene, reinstate and secure the institution’s land against illegal acquisition by private developers.

The letter stated that land and institution’s staff houses had been irregularly acquired by private developers. The letter added that some of the developers had title deeds, raising questions on how they acquired the property behind the institution’s back.

“The land grabbing has made it difficult to plan for current and future development of the school,” read the letter signed by Njoroge.

County Agriculture Executive, Immaculate Maina, said although the land belongs to the County, it is under the Ministry of Agriculture. She confirmed that strangers had invaded the property and some were evicted, but insisted that the County had to get more information on how the property was illegally acquired.

EACC South Rift Regional Manager, Ignatius Wekesa, confirmed that the agency had commenced investigations into the matter.

“The stakes are high and the EACC is on its toes to ensure all grabbed land is recovered and the culprits are apprehended, charged and jailed,” he said.

He added that the EACC is working hand in hand with the County government, land and security agencies to get to the bottom of the issue.

The government, through the Ministry of Education, certified ATC as an agricultural training and vocational training centre in October 2021.

Nakuru County National Lands Commission Coordinator, Frank Kibelekenya, said the grabbed parcel was public land.

“The land has not changed hands from ATC. Anyone who claims to own it must be relying on falsified documents,” said Kibelekenya.