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EACC moves to court in bid to reclaim Mombasa railway land

Wednesday July 15 2020
rail

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is seeking to recover a prime piece of land in Mombasa that it says belongs to Kenya Railways Corporation. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PHILIP MUYANGA

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is seeking to recover a prime piece of land in Mombasa that it says belongs to Kenya Railways Corporation.

The land was allegedly grabbed by a private developer.

In a case filed at the Environment and Land Court in Mombasa, the EACC says there is urgent need to have the property reverted to public utility as originally intended.

Through lawyer Francis Makori, the EACC which has sued Kizingo Apartments Ltd, Kizingo Condominiums Ltd, Mr E. Kosgei and the chief land registrar says its investigations have proved that the 0.0873-hectare plot belongs to Kenya Railways.

LAND ALIENATED

The land, EACC further says, was purportedly alienated in favour of Kizingo Apartments Ltd without a valid and registered part development plan.

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“Kenya Railways Corporation owned the land before the unlawful alienation in favour of Kizingo Apartments Ltd in the first instance and subsequently in favour of Kizingo Condominiums Ltd,” part of the suit documents states.

The EACC also argues that Kenya Railways did not grant Kizingo Apartments Ltd any part of the land for purposes of allocation or alienation to any person.

NO LEGAL BASIS

The anti-graft agency further argued that its investigations did not disclose any factual or legal basis upon which the land was alienated in favour of Kizingo Apartments Ltd and subsequently to Kizingo Condominiums Ltd.

It says the alienation of the land in the first instance and subsequent issuance of lease to Kizingo Apartments Ltd and then transfer to Kizingo Condominiums Ltd was fraudulent, illegal, null and void from the beginning.

The EACC accuses the Chief Land Registrar or his officers of being negligent, leading to the illegal and fraudulent alienation of the land to the detriment of the government.

It also accuses the registrar of failure to take remedial action over the grabbing of the land and irregularly issuing a letter of allotment to Kizingo Apartments Ltd.

FACTS IGNORED

The registrar, the EACC claims, deliberately ignored glaring facts that as at July 15, 2010, the land belonged to the government.

The EACC argues that, at all times, the defendants were aware that the land was reserved for government use and it was not available for alienation.

“Despite knowledge of EACC’s claim against the defendants, they have refused, failed and neglected to make amends for their fraudulent actions and failed to admit liability or surrender the property and title together with mesne profits over the property,” part of the suit documents by the EACC state.

The EACC wants an order issued directing the Chief Land Registrar and Land Registrar Mombasa to rectify the register by cancelling of entries relating to transactions on the land.

It is also seeking for a permanent order of injunction to restrain Kizingo Condominiums Ltd and the Chief Land Registrar from alienating, charging, disposing of or undertaking any construction of any nature or dealing with the land other than by surrendering it to the government.

The graft watchdog also wants Kizingo Apartments Ltd and Kizingo Condominiums Ltd to render an account to it (EACC) over mesne profits drawn from the land from the date it was illegally acquired to the date it is restored to the government.

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