Title Deeds For Grabbed Ngong Forest Land Were Processed Before Degazettement

August 14, 2020

A new development has emerged from investigations into the 132 acres grabbed land in Ngong Forest.

The National Assembly Environment committee Wednesday found out that title deeds were processed even before the land was degazetted.

The committee chaired by Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, which is investigating the alleged land-grabbing, was informed of the new development during a visit to the area.

Kenya Forest Service Chief Surveyor Evans Kegode said the titles were processed between 1994 and 1996, 3-4 years before the land was degazetted by former minister Francis Lotodo in 1998.

The titles for the land that Sun Valley II and Sun Valley III, Royal Palace and Royal Estates occupy were processed between 1994 and 1996, way before degazettement, which was done in 1998. This is illegal,” said the surveyor.

This comes after residents of Royal Park, Sun Valley I and II, Lang’ata Gardens, Lang’ata View Gardens and Forest Edge estates petitioned Parliament over the planned repossession of the land.

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko last month said the Legal Notice No. 44 signed by former Environment minister Francis Lotodo, which degazetted 132.64617 acres, was illegal as it ended up serving a purpose that was not intended.

Lotodo, now deceased, had informed Parliament on April 28, 1998, that the degazettment of the forest land was for the purposes of building a school.

“What happened is quite to the contrary. The land was sub-divided and dished out to individuals and companies. It is unlawful as a minister to degazette part of a public forest and reward your wife or girlfriend. When you degazette it, it must be for public purposes,” Tobiko said.

“If for whatever reason it was no longer viable for a school it automatically should have been reverted to its original purpose. Subsequent allocations are illegal. I sympathise with the residents but the law is not about morality or sympathy.”

He insisted that any documents including title deeds for the land are invalid and remain “a piece of paper that it is”.

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