NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 – Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has denied accusations by the national government that he had grabbed 2,000 acres of land in his county which he intends to use for establishing a new city and investment zone.
This was after Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said the land belonged to the veterinary department and should not be used for county projects.
Mutua however said the county was utilizing its own county land not the one the Cabinet Secretary was complaining about.
“Machakos is using its own county land and not the land belonging to veterinary department. We already have our own land,” he stated.
“Let us join hands and defeat poverty, sabotage, corruption and old ways of doing things so as to generate wealth and employment for our desperately poor people.”
Koskei had said that the Machakos Governor had already earmarked the land for the investment zone due to be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.
Mutua has denied the land grabbing claim, saying the land in question is separate from the 1,400 acres belonging to Agriculture Ministry.
“We are pleased to inform all well-wishers and investors that County Land LR 1491/R totalling 2,200 acres has already been reserved by the National Land Commission as per the Constitution for Investment in Machakos. The said land is separate from the 1400 acres parcel 1491/2 belonging to the Veterinary Lab,” he explained.
Earlier, Koskei alleged that the land belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture which had earmarked it for a livestock disease surveillance and disease control centre.
He wanted the National Land Commission to arbitrate on the matter before the launch.
“You cannot encroach on someone’s land then you want discussions, you need to move out of that land,” Koskei said.
He said this will help; “If at all there is discussion we commence. This is government dealing with the county government and there is no need of going to court.”
“We had a lengthy discussion with Governor Mutua on Friday evening and my position has not changed.”
Koskei has also directed parastatal heads to conduct a thorough audit of land in their jurisdiction to guard against land grabbing cases.
“They need to do that audit, they need to secure them… I have given instructions to ensure that they acquire title deeds.”
“We had discussion with (Mohamed) Swazuri – Chairman NLC and he is taking on the matter. We are asking all arm of the government to support the ministry in any way to ensure that land is protected and continues being used for development of this country.”