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 Tobiko offers reprieve to Ngong homeowners

Wednesday July 15 2020
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Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PAULINE KAIRU

Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has told a Senate committee that there are no immediate plans to demolish houses constructed on land the government claims was grabbed from Ngong Forest.

Mr Tobiko, however, said no amount of cajoling or wheedling will take his focus off the forest, which he says he is intent on “fully recovering”.

The CS, who was Wednesday responding to the Senate committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources regarding queries raised on the floor of the House concerning his intentions to repossess land he claims belongs to the Kenya Forest Service, said he would follow the recommendations of the Ndung’u Land Commission to compel the purported land owners to surrender the titles.

“The purported title holders, after surrendering the purported title document to the government for cancellation, will be issued with a long-term lease or special user licences on new terms and conditions,” he said in his 222-page response, which included attachments detailing the history and legal status of the forest land and how the land ended up in private hands.

He said the government would go after all professionals and public officials who participated in the illegal allocations and all monies and proceeds from the allocations and sale of the land recovered. A number of residents including those from Lang'ata Gardens, Silverline, Kenya Medical Association estates, as well as Beige investments Ltd have gone to court seeking interim restraining orders against the planned demolitions pending full hearing on July 28.

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