EACC Recovers Grabbed Land Worth Kes.110M in Nyahururu

June 21, 2024

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has successfully recovered 12 parcels of land, totaling 2.5 acres and valued at Kes.110 million, which were illegally acquired from Ngarenyiro Primary School in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, by land grabbers.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi announced the seizure on Thursday, emphasizing that these parcels, originally designated for the expansion of the Nyahururu Bus Park, were unlawfully allocated to private developers. These developers had begun constructing a commercial building on the land and were in the process of evicting Mitumba traders who were utilizing the space.

The Commission, through its Central Regional Office in Nyeri, launched investigations upon receipt of a complaint from Mitumba traders in Nyahururu Town on 21st February, 2022,” Ngumbi stated during a press briefing.

The traders reported that land reserved for extension of Nyahururu Bus Park, which the traders were using, had been irregularly, wrongfully, illegally and unlawfully allocated to private developers who had commenced construction of commercial building and were evicting the traders.”

According to EACC findings, the 2.5-acre parcel was unlawfully sectioned off from Ngarenyiro Primary School around 1984.

Officials from the now-defunct County Council of Nyandarua, allegedly in collusion with the then Commissioner of Lands, Wilson Gachanja, orchestrated this scheme.

“That contrary to the promise and representation given by the Commissioner of Lands, officials of the defunct County Council of Nyandarua working in cahoots with the then Commissioner of Lands, Wilson Gachanja, caused the portion reserved for expansion of Nyahururu Bus park to be subdivided in 12 portions and letters of allotment to be issued to private individuals in respect thereof,” said Ngumbi.

“That upon sub-division (survey), the parcel yielded Nyahururu Block VI/580, 581, 582, 583, 584,586, 587, 588, 589, 590, 591 and 592. The parcels have been valued at Ksh.9.2 million each.”

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi addresses the press in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, where the commission recovered grabbed land on June 20, 2024.

Subsequently, EACC pursued legal action, filing two separate recovery suits at the Nyahururu Environment and Land Court against 13 defendants, including the initial 12 land grabbers and Wilson Gachanja, the facilitator of the fraudulent transactions.

“Based on the strong evidence gathered by the Commission showing that the properties constituted public land at the time they were allocated to the defendants, all the defendants engaged the Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) out of which they surrendered the illegal ownership documents to the Commission,” Ngumbi continued.

Following the conclusion of the ADR process in November 2023, the court issued a consent judgment revoking all titles held by the private individuals and ordering them to return the land to the government permanently. It also issued an injunction preventing any further transactions involving the parcels except for their surrender back to the government.

Currently, EACC is facilitating the transfer of the land back to the Laikipia County government. Ngumbi confirmed that the Commission has already initiated the necessary procedures with the Land Registrar to update the land register accordingly.

“We have requested the Land Registrar to expunge all entries related to the defendants and issue new titles in the name of the Laikipia County Government, as directed by the court,” Ngumbi affirmed.

Furthermore, EACC disclosed that it has ten additional pending recovery suits before the Nyahururu Environment and Land Court, seeking restitution of government land and properties in Nyahururu.

Among these cases is a plot valued at Kes.200 million housing Agricultural Mechanization Services, established in 1946 to support local potato farmers through subsidized tractor and plant hire services.

Despite the presence of machinery on site, the land has been encroached upon by three private developers who have obtained fraudulent titles, the EACC said.

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