Govt revokes 345 irregular land titles - Daily Nation

Govt revokes 345 irregular land titles

Wednesday December 8 2010

Lands minister James Orengo addresses a press conference at Ardhi House, Nairobi  December 8, 2010. He said the government had revoked 345 land titles. TOM MARUKO

Lands minister James Orengo addresses a press conference at Ardhi House, Nairobi December 8, 2010. He said the government had revoked 345 land titles. TOM MARUKO 

By NATION Reporter

Parcels of land reportedly owned by top personalities including MPs and influential businessmen are among those repossessed by the government.

The owners of the 345 title deeds, which have been revoked, include Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Fahim Yasin Twaha (Lamu West ) and Juja legislator William Kabogo Gitau.

Others are those owned by companies and ordinary Kenyans. The list is contained in a special Kenya Gazette Notice number 124 of November 26, 2010.

Making the announcement Wednesday, Lands minister James Orengo, said  all the 345 pieces have reverted to the government.

“Necessary measures to prepare title deeds for the parcels of land are underway and  once they are all ready, the government will issue the titles back to the affected government institutions,” said  Mr Orengo at his Ardhi House office in Nairobi.

The revoked parcel  of land allocated to Mr Ruto is Eldoret Bloc 8/574 and was revoked through gazette notice number 15578 of November, 26, 2010.

The piece of land under the ownership of Mr Kabogo, LR 7785/1173, in Nairobi, was revoked through gazette notice number 11536 of October, 1, 2010.

Those repossessed from  Twaha are Lamu Block IV/189, Lamu Block IV/126, Lamu Block IV/127, Lamu Block IV128 and Lamu Block IV 129. The revocation was done through a gazette notice number 5564 of May, 21, 2010.

Others repossessed are seven pieces of land owned by Lima Limited; they are Eldoret Block 4/55, Eldoret Municipality Block 4/52, Eldoret Municipality Block 4/53, Eldoret Municipality Block 4/56, Eldoret Municipality Block 4/54, Eldoret Municipality Block 4/57 and Eldoret Municipality Block 4/129.

Their revocation was made through gazette notice number 11538 of October,1, 2010.

A parcel of land, Kakamega block 3/160 owned by the late cabinet minister Joshua Mulanda Angata was also repossessed.

Title deeds of two plots, LR 1432/55 and LR 1432/256, both in Hombay, owned by the late politician Aluoch Polo, were also revoked.

Mr Orengo said the Lands Ministry in consultation with the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) decided to revoke the title deeds, saying the  current constitution gives the government power to repossess public land allocated through unlawful means.

“The aggrieved are  also catered for under the Bill of Rights and can go to court if they do not agree with our action,”  said Mr Orengo.

Also repossessed are parcels of land owned by Mr Turbman Otieno, Hass Petrol Station, Leisure Lodge, Kwale County Council and Mombasa Municipal Council among others.

Asked whether the revocation of  the land under the ownership of Mr  Ruto would be seen as witch hunt, Mr Orengo said  the ministry had made its decision based on complaints received from members of the public and investigations done by both lands officials and the KACC.

Some of the parcels were fraudulently acquired from the  Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority,  Kenya National Library and Meteorological Department.

Mr Orengo said the ministry will continue to investigate, unearth and expose individuals and organizations that may have in the past acquired parcels of land from individuals and public institutions, unlawfully.

“Many individuals have appeared in court for acquiring wrongly or helping individuals and organizations to acquire land illegally. This trend is bound to reach a crescendo as more cases continue coming up following efforts by Ministry of Lands, KACC and individuals, “ the minister added.

In October, this year, Prime Minister Raila Odinga handed over 56 title deeds worth more than Sh3.5 billion to public institutions. The parcels of land had been irregularly issued to individuals and organizations.