EACC summons SDA officials over grabbed public land in Homa Bay

The EACC headquarters in Nairobi.

Integrity Centre, the EACC's headquarters in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has summoned officials of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church in Homa Bay to explain how the church acquired a 26-acre piece of land belonging to the government.

The church officials are accused of grabbing government land, located in West Kasipul, Rachuonyo South and converting it into private property.

According to the EACC, the land belongs to Nyabola Girls Secondary School which was started in 1968 as a public school.

But the school was later converted into a private institution and renamed Nyabola SDA Secondary School.

EACC manager in South Nyanza Kipsang' Sambai said records from the lands office indicate that the institution sits on public property.

"We have summoned officials from the church to demonstrate how they acquired the land and their interest in the property. We want to establish how private property sits on government land," he said.

The EACC expects the church officials to provide documents to defend the ownership of the land.

Property on public land,

"We want to find out how they registered the property on public land," Mr Sambai said.

EACC officials on Friday oversaw a boundary determination exercise undertaken on the site by a team of surveyors from Rachuonyo South.

Officials from the Land Registrar’s office were also present at the site.

EACC said the parcel of land is registered under the defunct South Nyanza Council and reserved for Nyabola Girls Secondary School.

According to EACC, persons associated with the Kenya Lake Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists of the South Kenya Lake Field Area deceptively acquired the said land, converted it to their personal use, and constructed an SDA church building, and other private housing developments, including a boarding school and residential houses.

This is part of the campaign by the anti-corruption agency to recover public land illegally acquired by individuals and institutions.