Irked by land grabbing, MCA demands Meru status report

Wednesday March 18 2020
Land team

Lands committee chair Rachel Nyamai and Buuri MP Murwithania Rindikiri (third right) listen to a teacher of Angaine Mixed Day Secondary School (right) during a fact-finding tour on March 2, 2018. MCA Elias Murega wants the Lands executive to provide a list of all public plots and reveal the extent of land grabbing. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A member of the Meru County Assembly wants the executive to publicise the state of all public land in Meru town to expose the extent of land grabbing.

Municipality member of county assembly (MCA) Elias Murega wants the Lands executive to provide a list of all public plots in areas including Mwendantu, Kanu grounds, Salama-Mjini, Kambakia, Kongoacheke, Kinoru Stadium, Makutano.


Mr Murega wants to establish the availability of the land for public utilities and for the executive to provide maps for Ntima/Igoki section.

This is as it emerged that most of the grabbed and illegally allocated plots are in Milimani estate, near Meru Museum and Kirukuri estate.

Mr Murega said the ownership of most public plots was in question hence the need for clarification from the county.

"We have a shortage of public spaces in Municipality. This is why we want to know their status. The Ndung'u report indicated that some of the plots in Municipality were irregularly allocated. I am yet to receive a response from the executive," he said.

In 2015, the former county administration claimed that more than 200 plots worth billions of shillings, that belonged to the county, had been grabbed in Meru town alone.

Out of these, 42 plots along the Kanyuru River were in private hands, the result of collusion between individuals and corrupt officials of the defunct local government.


The report by the Ndung'u Commission indicates that 86 public plots within Meru Municipality were irregularly allocated to individuals.

The Meru County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) states that 50 percent of public land in the county is prone to grabbing and recommends implementation of the report to recover stolen land and avert grabbing.

“Therefore, the security of tenure is poor. Public land is prone to land grabbing, limiting availability for development," the CIDP reads.

While backing the demands, North Imenti lawmaker Rahim Dawood said an audit by the defunct local government, in 2005, indicated that about 100 public plots in Meru Municipality were grabbed.

"I am aware that some of the plots were recovered after the audit. Nteere public park land is one of the properties forcefully recovered from grabbers. It is difficult to implement the Ndung'u Commission report because it has never been adopted by parliament," Mr Dawood said.

A top county official is one of those believed to own three public plots at Kirukuri estate, where the former county administration evicted tenants.

In the past, Kenya African National Union (Kanu) officials claimed that the party’s six-acre piece of land in Meru town was illegally subdivided and sold to individuals.