The regime of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, was riddled with land grabbing which was perpetrated by him for his benefit and members of his family.
The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report says that the injustice also benefitted other political leaders from other tribes.
The report released Tuesday revealed that between 1964 and 1966, one-sixth of European settlers’ lands that were intended for settlement of landless and land-scarce Africans were cheaply sold to the then President Kenyatta and his wife Ngina as well as his children.
The report says that throughout the years of President Kenyatta’s administration, his relatives friends and officials in his administration also benefitted from the vice with wanton impunity.
Retired President Daniel arap Moi, who succeeded President Kenyatta at the helm of the country’s leadership, was also a beneficiary.
Other leaders who engaged in the pratice were Mbiyu Koinange, Ronald Ngala, Oginga Odinga, through the Luo Thrift and Trading Company, Gikonyo Kiano, J.M. Kariuki, Masinde Muliro and Paul Ngei.
Reads the report; “Kenyatta himself appears to have benefited immensely from irregular allocations of land that should have benefited those who lost land to Arab and British colonisers.’
“By 1965, Kenyatta is reported to have been using his position as president to buy numerous settler farms in the White Highlands and also excising and allocating to himself and family government forest land in Kiambu,” went on the report.
“President Kenyatta’s direct engagement in irregular land allocations compromised his position to prevent or remedy similar cases of land grabbing by his close associates,” the report adds.
It says Kenyatta personally approved the purchase of large farms by his family in the Rift Valley, exempting the transactions from review by the respective land control boards.
In the process, his family acquired vast farms in Nakuru, Njoro and Rongai areas in the Rift Valley.
Moreover, adds the report, the President and his family owned several beach plots and hotels on the Coast where, as previously stated, many African communities lost their land, first, to Arabs and later to Europeans, rendering many landless, to this day.