Vacate public land now, warns CS Wahome as court allows Mavoko demolitions to continue

Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome

Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome after officially opening the Regional Conference on Customary Tenure Rights in Eastern Africa in Nairobi on Tuesday. 

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Court dismissed application by Aimi ma Lukenya Society to stop the demolitions of EAPCC land in Mavoko.
  • Lands CS says having a share certificate is not enough for anyone to claim ownership of any parcel of land.

Anyone who is currently occupying public land should vacate with immediate effect, Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome has said.

In what looks like a move to play catch up in order to avert more Kenyans from losing their property as it happened in the Mavoko land case, the CS said the eviction processes will be implemented by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Anti-Recovery Agency (ARA) and the National Police Service.

Ms Wahome, who was recently transferred to the ministry, also warned Kenyans that having a share certificate is not enough for anyone to claim ownership of any piece of land.

Homes on Portland Cement land demolished after Ruto directive on land grabbers

“The ministry wishes to send out a strong message that any person on public land should vacate with immediate effect. I wish to advise the public that there are people out there conning members of the public to buy land using share certificates. Share certificates are not legal documents to confirm ownership,” Ms Wahome said.

The CS, who was accompanied by the ministry’s principal secretary Nixon Korir, asked Kenyans to carry out due diligence by checking the status of the parcels they want to purchase from the Lands ministry, where they will be given maps from the survey department.

In relation to Mavoko land which has hit the headlines, Ms Wahome and Mr Korir said records at the ministry clearly show that it belongs to the East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC).

“Any other documents purported to be held in respect to the said land do not originate from this office. The ministry has already forwarded the relevant documents to the office of the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to support them in the ongoing investigations,” she said.

Demolished houses

A demolished house that had been built on Portland Cement land in Mavoko, Machakos County, on October 17, 2023.

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

Until a week ago, some of the people who were occupying the Mavoko land were paying money meant for acquiring title deeds after they were asked to do so by the management of Aimi Ma Lukenya Sacco management.

Land grabbing

An excavator demolishes a building built on the disputed Portland Cement land in Mavoko, Machakos County on October 18, 2023. 

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Asked whether the ministry will compensate the people whose buildings were demolished, Ms Wahome said the only people who will do so are those who fraudulently sold the land to them. “Those who sold the parcel of land knowing very well that they did not own it are the people who should do the compensation,” she said.

On Thursday, October 19, the Environment and Lands Court sitting in Machakos dismissed an application to stop the demolition of houses on the EAPCC land in Mavoko.


A woman wails uncontrollably as her house in East African Portland in Mavoko was being demolished.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Lady Justice Annet Nyukuri said the application by Aimi ma Lukenya Society, which claims the land, did not meet the legal threshold to warrant an injunction. “There is no evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim that it purchased the property in question. Therefore, I find that the applicant has failed to establish a prima facie case,” Ms Nyukuri said.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka represented the Aimi ma Lukenya Society in the application, which followed a ruling by the same court in favour of EAPCC.

Mr Musyoka had argued that the demolitions, which started on Friday last week, were a violation of the right to housing and a crime against human rights. But Ms Nyukuri said Mr Musyoka had introduced the human rights issue as an afterthought.

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti had led a team of county officials to attend the hearing.