Outcry as marine park is put on sale for Sh1.4bn despite KWS fight back
What you need to know:
- The Saturday Nation has established that the land listed on the advertisement is public property which was gazetted as a national park through legal notice No. 216 of October 25, 1973.
- The Kisite Marine Park covering an area of 23 kilometres squared was first registered as a national park in 1973.
A 21.5-acre national marine park occupying some of the most prime land at the South Coast is up for sale in the international market in a deal which could lead to the loss of a public resource worth Sh1.4 billion.
Well connected politicians and businessmen, working in cahoots with corrupt networks in Nairobi, managed to secure titles to the land on which Kisite Marine Park sits during the Moi years.
They have now manoeuvred to obtain approval to set up a ‘hospitality business’ on the Island with an advertisement posted online placing the value of the park at $16 million (about Sh1.4 billion)
The Saturday Nation has established that the land listed on the advertisement is public property which was gazetted as a national park through legal notice No. 216 of October 25, 1973.
Determined cartels have ignored several caveats placed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and are looking for buyers to buy the property.
The Kisite Island offers some of the most beautiful and pristine beach property in the country.
Thousands of tourists visit the park annually to indulge in watersports such as diving, snorkeling and fishing.
But if the cartels who have secured titles to the land have their way, the park could soon be private property.
The process through which a national park came to be allocated to individuals is a study in the runaway corruption and underhand deals which were the norm in the management of public land in the Moi years, a legacy that has ceased to end 10 years since the Kanu government left office.
The Kisite Marine Park covering an area of 23 kilometres squared was first registered as a national park in 1973.
The boundaries were revised to cover 28 kilometres squared five years later and gazetted on May 10, 1978.
This status held until 1994 when former President Moi transferred 0.8 hectares of the land in Kisite to two private individuals — Ms Sophia Rahim and Ms Sophie Nzuguka Kilei.
The Saturday Nation established that the global advertisement was placed by a Swiss national — Mr Alessandro Torriani — who owns Funzi keys, another resort at the Coast.
Mr Torriani denied any impropriety in the process of acquiring the land.
He said the titles were issued regularly by the Commissioner of Lands.
He also accused the wildlife agency of “crying foul” without good reason.
Contacted for comment, KWS deputy director, corporate service Tom Sipul advised potential buyers not to invest in the Island.