, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu now says Raila Odinga’s faction of the Grand Coalition Government was in charge of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport corridor (LAPSSET) project during the Kibaki regime, and should provide answers for the irregular 2011-2012 transactions in Lamu.
Ngilu says President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot be the one to answer the questions because it is Odinga who was spearheading the LAPSSET project under the coalition government of former President Mwai Kibaki.
“Did Raila know this was happening? Would he accept to do this? This is crazy… Did this happen under his watch? It is shameful if it happened under his watch?” she said.
“You need to ask yourself, did we give so much land to few people at the expense of the poor people of Lamu?” she wondered.
The CS who was accompanied by officials in the closure of the Lands Registry in Mombasa said the government was committed to solving the land ownership problem in the country and will be revoking all the illegally acquired tittles since 1963.
“The Jubilee government promised Kenyans that we are going to revoke any land that has been given irregularly. I am saying to the public, if anybody has more information they should bring it forward,” Ngilu said on Monday.
On Thursday last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that 22 private entities had allegedly grabbed over 476,000 acres of land, which is 70 percent of total land in Lamu County.
“They have seen LAPSSET… a big project and they want to take the same piece of land they got for free irregularly and sell to the government. This can’t be allowed,” the CS emphasised.
A team of land surveyors has been dispatched to Lamu to continue with further probe of the transactions and ensure genuine squatters are resettled.
Registries in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi will remain closed for seven working days starting August 1 to August 12.
In the meantime, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has announced that it is closing in on Lamu land grabbers following President Kenyatta’s directive to investigate the 22 firms.
In an interview with Capital FM News, Matemu said that his office had been investigating the illegal land dealings since May.
“As long as somebody has irregularly acquired public land in a manner that amounts to corruption, there will be punishment,” Matemu stood firm.