Evictions loom as EACC eyes Sh7 billion grabbed properties in Nakuru

Nakuru City

An aerial view of Nakuru town as seen on November 30, 2021. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is seeking to recover more than Sh7 billion worth of grabbed property within Nakuru as the county chokes in multi-billion land ownership battles.

Nakuru has in the past months witnessed a rise in land ownership disputes involving individuals and government agencies.

The grabbed public properties EACC seeks to recover constitute agricultural land, road reserves, and public land reserved for expansion of state agencies and Government houses.

"Currently, in Nakuru County, EACC has civil cases active in court seeking recovery of grabbed property amounting to over Sh7 billion,” revealed the commission's Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi.

Among property that EACC is seeking to recover are assets worth Sh2.5 billion and one of them is the Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organisation in Naivasha which is valued at about Sh2 billion.

Other parcels of land the anti-graft body seeks to recover include; one belonging to the Kenya National Trading Corporation in Nakuru worth Sh200 million.

Meanwhile, the agency’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Twalib Mbarak has urged all persons holding titles to land seized from the government across the country to consider voluntarily surrendering to the commission, rather than going through the costly and lengthy and costly court processes.

According to its data, the Commission has recovered assets worth Sh5 billion in the past year. This includes public land within the South Rift region.

In Nakuru alone, properties including land worth millions of shillings have been recovered.

For instance, mid-last year, the EACC recovered five acres of land worth Sh345 million in Nakuru that was grabbed from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development by private developers among them a former Member of Parliament.

Private developers through private companies and proxies are said to have grabbed the land located at the heart of Nakuru City, near St Xavier Primary, off the Oginga Odinga Avenue.

The anti-graft agency won a land recovery suit, which had been filed at the Nakuru Environment and Land Court, against three individuals -Saleh Chepkole, Titus Kipkemboi and former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja together with two private entities namely Pembeni Limited and Liberty Assurance Company Limited.

Additionally, in 2023, the EACC also recovered land worth Sh50 million in Nakuru City that was allegedly grabbed by Alexander Kipngetich Sitieney, a former aide de camp of the late President Daniel Arap Moi.

Other properties recently recovered by the anti-graft body include; a parcel of land in Nakuru worth Sh100 million belonging to the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya, four parcels of land in Nakuru City each valued at Sh30 million and another worth Sh300 million.

Houses and other assets valued at millions of shillings have also been reclaimed.

During a meeting between the EACC and the National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, last week, EACC raised a red flag over the rise of fake title deeds that have led to evictions of genuine landowners.

Subsequently, the EACC now wants land laws reviewed to protect landowners from cartels working with rogue government officers to forcefully take over State land.

EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak said a review of land laws review would seal weaknesses that were being exploited by criminals.

“There is an urgent need to review the current Land Act so that we can safeguard public land from grabbing and this can be achieved through automation of all land registries,” he said.