, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – The government has revoked more than 100 title deeds across the country that were irregularly allocated to private developers.
Lands Minister James Orengo said they included irregularly allocated government houses, judiciary land, Ministry of Lands office sites, riparian reserves and public utility land.
Addressing a press conference, the Minister named Parkview Shopping Arcade in Westlands, the Law Courts in community area and its car park, Jomo Kenyatta Public beach in Mombasa, Kongowea market, Mt Elgon hospital and Kitale academy as those that will be affected.
“Let me tell you the issue is as bad as this; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written to this ministry indicating that they are looking for land to build a headquarter. They have a grant from the Chinese government of Sh300 million and they can’t get a plot to construct,” he said.
“And that goes with many requests that we get from government departments,” he added.
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The Minister said the Kongowea market was originally reserved for the Kenya Marine Fisheries Institute for the purpose of staff quarters but the management board irregularly transferred the land to Kongowea Estates Limited.
He said the land was now required for the development of a public facility by the Ministries of Local government and Fisheries.
Land that was also irregularly curved out of Maasai Mara game reserve and allocated to an individual was revoked and the use reverted back to the trusteeship of Narok County Council.
The land at Jomo Kenyatta Public beach had been acquired by the Municipal Council of Mombasa but according to the Minister, it abused the trust bestowed on it as the custodian of the public beach by transferring part of it to an individual.
“The title will now be issued to the Permanent Secretary, Treasury and the Ministry of Natural Heritage should assume possession immediately and management of the public beach,” he said.
He also accused the Municipal Council of Kitale and the County Council of breaching their trusteeship of the Mt Elgon hospital by turning it into a private liability company and proceeded to take loans against the property.
He said the current legal process for recovery of irregularly obtained public land was inefficient and worked against public interest.
“The courts are even unable to recover land reserved for their use like the case of Eldoret and Mombasa law courts. The government is now preparing a Cabinet memo to set up a framework for efficient recovery of public utility land,” Mr Orengo said.