EACC recovers prime Government property in Nakuru and Nyahururu

EACC recovers prime Government property  in Nakuru and Nyahururu

21:06:2024: The Commission has recovered grabbed public land measuring half an acre, with a prime Government house on it, all worth Kes40 million belonging to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, within Nakuru CBD.

The recovered property is the 21st out of 24 prime Government house units that the Commission has been recovering in phases atSt. Xavier Estate, Nakuru, from various defendants including the family of formerMember of Parliament for Aldai Constituency Jim Choge (deceased).Recovery suits for the remaining three house units are ongoing in court.

Addressing press today from the site of the recovered land, EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi said that the recovered property, known as Land Parcel No. Nakuru Municipality Block 5/149, located behind Taidys Hotel in Nakuru City, had been planned, reserved and used for Government housing, known as St. Xavier Estate.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi addressing the press from the site of the recovered land in Nakuru

EACC went to Court after the defendants failed to voluntarily surrender the property as per the demand issued by the Commission.

The Commission’s investigations established that on June 30th 1994, the then Commissioner of Lands, Wilson Gachanja fraudulently and illegally transferred the land including Government House; NKU/ HOU/ MG/27 built in 1964 to William Kimaru, who later transferred it to former Member of Parliament for Aldai Constituency Jim Choge.

EACC informed the Court that at the time of the allocation of the land to the private individuals, the land was already Government property and as such, it was not available for allocation to the defendants or to any other person and therefore, all the transactions, at all the transfer stages, were fraudulent, illegal, null and void.

The Judgement in favour of EACC was delivered by Hon. Justice Mwangi Njoroge of the Nakuru Environment and Land Court, who nullifiedall the transactions leading to the illegal transfer of the Government land. He also cancelledall illegal entries in the Nakuru Register and orderedthat the property be registered in the name of the Government, as required under the law.

The Commission is currently pursuing the rectification of the Nakuru Land Register by the Registrar to have the illegal entries removed and a new Title Deed issued in the name of the Government as ordered by the Court. Once this process is concluded, EACC will hand over the Title to the Government.

In Nyahururu Sub-County, Laikipia County, the Commission recovered public land valued at Kes110 million that some 12 private individuals had grabbed and reverted it to the County Government.

The land had been reserved for the Nyahururu bus park and had been irregularly alienated to favour private individuals who had been earmarked it for the construction of a multi-million Mall.

The Commission, through its Central Regional Office in Nyeri, launched investigations upon receipt of a complaint from Mitumba traders in Nyahururu Town in February 2022. The complaint was to the effect that the land reserved for extension of Nyahururu Bus Park, which they were using, had been unlawfully allocated to private developers who had commenced construction of commercial building and they were being evicted.

Speaking at the site yesterday where EACC team led by its Spokesperson, Eric Ngumbi had visited, Nyahururu Mitumba Traders led by their Chairman Peter Maina Mwangi thanked EACC for saving them from eviction by the grabbers. They urged the Commission to assist in recovery of all the other plots grabbed in the area. They also called upon the County Government to develop the land recovered by EACC for use by the traders.

“Were it not for determination and the zeal to pursue the matter in court and with the relevant agencies, the land could have been grabbed and developed. This would have denied us a place to conduct their businesses,” said Maina.

Investigations had shown that the land in question had been donated by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri for the construction of Ngare Naro Primary School in 1972.

From left, EACC Deputy Regional Manager of Central Regional Office, Nyeri, Grace Omweri, and Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi (second from left) being taken on tour of the recovered parcel of land in Nyahururu Town by Peter Mwangi, Chairman of the Nyahururu Mitamba Traders (third from left)

However, in 1984 the now defunct Nyandarua County Council working with the then commissioner of lands hived off 2 acres for the expansion of the Nyahururu bus park with a disclaimer to the school that if the land was not used in the expansion of the bus park it would be reverted to the school.

Through underhand dealings, the Nyandarua County Council working with the then commissioner of lands subdivided the land into 12 portions and issued letters of allotment to private individuals.

Through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) negotiations, the defendants who were the allottees agreed to voluntarily surrender the title documents to the commission. Six allotees had already begun developing the parcel of land in a joint venture to construct a shopping mall and were at the foundation stage by the time the EACC struck.

Following the finalization of the ADR Process in November 2023, the Court delivered a consent Judgement and issued declarations and orders revoking all the titles held by the 12 individuals.

The Court further issued a permanent injunction restraining all the defendants, their agents, servants or any other person acting on their behalf from any dealings with the land except by way of surrender to the Government.

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