The Kenya Forest Service has urged Kenyans to be extra vigilant when buying land within Ngong Road Forest around Sunvalley Lang’ata and surrounding areas.
KFS noted that buyers were being swindled of millions of shillings by being sold grabbed forest land.
“Much of the land that is purportedly up for sale by crooks there is part of Ngong Forest land which will be reclaimed. It is just a matter of time. And it will not matter what is on the land, it will eventually revert to the KFS. It won’t matter what sits on the forest land when we come for it. We’ll take all of what belongs to the forest,” said KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau last week Thursday.
The conservator said Ngong Road Forest sits on 1,224.4 hectares, but 789 hectares have been grabbed by unscrupulous developers.
KFS board chairman Peter Kinyua added that some owners acquired titles to the land under forest area fraudulently.
“Anybody sitting on forest land will have to vacate. Many of the people on those parcels of land there say they have titles but they have titles to what? When was it degazetted, by whom? Because for public land to convert into private land, a parliamentary process to degazette it has to have happened,” Mr Kinyua
The Chairman said a process to recover the irregularly acquired land is already underway.
“Some people have illegally and irregularly erected structures on these 789 hectares. But it remains gazetted as forest land and it has a legal notice and there is no process of degazettement that has been undertaken,” Mr Kamau said as quoted by Daily Nation.
“Anybody who is in the forest illegally has to vacate. We’re very clear in terms of mapping all the forest areas around the country,” he added.
Mr Kamau called upon prospective land buyers to verify with the agency before sinking millions into grabbed land.
“And there are Kenyans who’ve actually been doing the right thing by writing to us to establish the status of what they want to acquire against the forest jurisdiction and we give them advice.
“I want to ask Kenyans who are buying in the area around Ngong Road Forest to do serious due diligence before investing millions of shillings. We do not charge for the service. It is absolutely free of charge, so Kenyans should not hesitate to come to us,” said the conservator.
According to the Nation newspaper, an unnamed former MP is one of the sellers of grabbed land where a 40 by 60 ft parcel of land goes for about Sh12 million.