Fresh twist in Karen land saga as official denies role

October 28, 2014 4:08 pm
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National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri went on to protest that the commission's efforts to get to the bottom of the Karen land grabbing saga were being frustrated by the Lands Ministry/FILE
National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri went on to protest that the commission’s efforts to get to the bottom of the Karen land grabbing saga were being frustrated by the Lands Ministry/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – The Director of Physical Planning has denied approving the allocation and development of the 134-acre controversial Karen land.

In a letter addressed to the National Land Commission which was read out before the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Land, the director denied knowledge of the alleged subdivision of the prime land estimated to cost over Sh8 billion.

“Please note that this office is not in possession of any information or record pertaining to the purported allocation or approved development on LR No. 3586/3iR3187 located in Karen,” the letter to the NLC states.

National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri went on to protest that the commission’s efforts to get to the bottom of the Karen land grabbing saga were being frustrated by the Lands Ministry.

He said the government institutions they had written to seeking information on the land case were yet to respond leaving them in the dark.

“We wrote to the director of CID, the Director of Survey, the records office which surely must have all the lands information in the country… the Registrar of Titles and we have not gotten any information,” lamented Swazuri.

Swazuri gave an account of how the commission got wind of the activities on the alleged grabbed land saying the owner contacted them after he learnt that the Survey of Kenya was subdividing the land.

“On September 1 this year, the owner wrote to the commission complaining that he had heard that his land had been subdivided by the surveyor’s department. He asked us to do three things – confirm that this parcel is indeed private land registered in the name of Muchanga Investments Ltd, investigate the subdivision of a privately held property in the name of public land and finally that you take action to ensure that all allocations done on this property as private land are quashed immediately,” Swazuri explained.

The committee chaired by Tharaka MP Alex Mwiru further learnt that the prime land, which was under a lease was still within its limit as it was first registered 1919 under a lease for 99 years.

The commission whose mandate is to investigate current and historical land injustices said it was waiting until the bodies it had written to responded before they made their final report on the case.

Lands CS Charity Ngilu who failed to appear before the committee on Monday as it toured the controversial parcel of land has been summoned to appear before the committee next week Tuesday to give her side of the story.

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) is also investigating the matter and it is not confirmed whether CORD legislators will appear before the commission to present evidence they claim to have against top government officials and MPs reported to be beneficiaries of the land fraud.

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